Les publications

IF du Neurocentre

973 publications

* equal contribution
Les IF indiqués ont été collectés par le Web of Sciences en Juin 2020

01/02/2017 | J Comp Neurol   IF 3.3
Anatomical characterization of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor in cell-type-specific mutant mouse rescue models.
Gutierrez-Rodriguez A, Puente N, Elezgarai I, Ruehle S, Lutz B, Reguero L, Gerrikagoitia I, Marsicano G, Grandes P

Type 1 cannabinoid (CB1 ) receptors are widely distributed in the brain. Their physiological roles depend on their distribution pattern, which differs remarkably among cell types. Hence, subcellular compartments with little but functionally relevant CB1 receptors can be overlooked, fostering an incomplete mapping. To overcome this, knockin mice with cell-type-specific rescue of CB1 receptors have emerged as excellent tools for investigating CB1 receptors' cell-type-specific localization and sufficient functional role with no bias. However, to know whether these rescue mice maintain endogenous CB1 receptor expression level, detailed anatomical studies are necessary. The subcellular distribution of hippocampal CB1 receptors of rescue mice that express the gene exclusively in dorsal telencephalic glutamatergic neurons (Glu-CB1 -RS) or GABAergic neurons (GABA-CB1 -RS) was studied by immunoelectron microscopy. Results were compared with conditional CB1 receptor knockout lines. As expected, CB1 immunoparticles appeared at presynaptic plasmalemma, making asymmetric and symmetric synapses. In the hippocampal CA1 stratum radiatum, the values of the CB1 receptor-immunopositive excitatory and inhibitory synapses were Glu-CB1 -RS, 21.89% (glutamatergic terminals); 2.38% (GABAergic terminals); GABA-CB1 -RS, 1.92% (glutamatergic terminals); 77.92% (GABAergic terminals). The proportion of CB1 receptor-immunopositive excitatory and inhibitory synapses in the inner one-third of the dentate molecular layer was Glu-CB1 -RS, 53.19% (glutamatergic terminals); 2.30% (GABAergic terminals); GABA-CB1 -RS, 3.19% (glutamatergic terminals); 85.07% (GABAergic terminals). Taken together, Glu-CB1 -RS and GABA-CB1 -RS mice show the usual CB1 receptor distribution and expression in hippocampal cell types with specific rescue of the receptor, thus being ideal for in-depth anatomical and functional investigations of the endocannabinoid system. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:302-318, 2017. (c) 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

02/2017 | Neuropsychopharmacology   IF 6.4
Individual Variations in the Mechanisms of Nicotine Seeking: A Key for Research on Nicotine Dependence.
Garcia-Rivas V, Cannella N, Deroche-Gamonet V

24/01/2017 | Neuropharmacology   IF 5
CRF1 receptor-deficiency increases cocaine reward.
Contarino A, Kitchener P, Vallee M, Papaleo F, Piazza PV

Stimulant drugs produce reward but also activate stress-responsive systems. The corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and the related hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis stress-responsive systems are activated by stimulant drugs. However, their role in stimulant drug-induced reward remains poorly understood. Herein, we report that CRF1 receptor-deficient (CRF1-/-), but not wild-type, mice show conditioned place preference (CPP) responses to a relatively low cocaine dose (5 mg/kg, i.p.). Conversely, wild-type, but not CRF1-/-, mice display CPP responses to a relatively high cocaine dose (20 mg/kg, i.p.), indicating that CRF1 receptor-deficiency alters the rewarding effects of cocaine. Acute pharmacological antagonism of the CRF1 receptor by antalarmin also eliminates cocaine reward. Nevertheless, CRF1-/- mice display higher stereotypy responses to cocaine than wild-type mice. Despite the very low plasma corticosterone concentration, CRF1-/- mice show higher nuclear glucocorticoid receptor (GR) levels in the brain region of the hippocampus than wild-type mice. Full rescue of wild-type-like corticosterone and GR circadian rhythm and level in CRF1-/- mice by exogenous corticosterone does not affect CRF1 receptor-dependent cocaine reward but induces stereotypy responses to cocaine. These results indicate a critical role for the CRF1 receptor in cocaine reward, independently of the closely related HPA axis activity.

12/01/2017 | Cell   IF 30.4
Blood on the Tracks: Two Pathways for Predation.
Rozeske RR, Herry C

Accurate predatory behavior requires coordination between pursuit activity and prey consumption, yet the underlying neuronal circuits are unknown. A novel study published in this issue of Cell identifies two coordinated circuits emanating from the central amygdala that control the efficiency of prey capture and the ability to deliver fatal bites to prey.

2017 | Methods Mol Biol
Dual Anterograde and Retrograde Viral Tracing of Reciprocal Connectivity.
Haberl MG, Ginger M, Frick A

Current large-scale approaches in neuroscience aim to unravel the complete connectivity map of specific neuronal circuits, or even the entire brain. This emerging research discipline has been termed connectomics. Recombinant glycoprotein-deleted rabies virus (RABV G) has become an important tool for the investigation of neuronal connectivity in the brains of a variety of species. Neuronal infection with even a single RABV G particle results in high-level transgene expression, revealing the fine-detailed morphology of all neuronal features-including dendritic spines, axonal processes, and boutons-on a brain-wide scale. This labeling is eminently suitable for subsequent post-hoc morphological analysis, such as semiautomated reconstruction in 3D. Here we describe the use of a recently developed anterograde RABV G variant together with a retrograde RABV G for the investigation of projections both to, and from, a particular brain region. In addition to the automated reconstruction of a dendritic tree, we also give as an example the volume measurements of axonal boutons following RABV G-mediated fluorescent marker expression. In conclusion RABV G variants expressing a combination of markers and/or tools for stimulating/monitoring neuronal activity, used together with genetic or behavioral animal models, promise important insights in the structure-function relationship of neural circuits.

2017 | front mol neurosci   IF 5.1
Differential Alteration in Expression of Striatal GABAAR Subunits in Mouse Models of Huntington's Disease.
Du Z, Tertrais M, Courtand G, Leste-Lasserre T, Cardoit L, Masmejean F, Halgand C, Cho YH, Garret M

Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive motor symptoms that are preceded by cognitive deficits and is considered as a disorder that primarily affects forebrain striatal neurons. To gain a better understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with disease progression, we analyzed the expression of proteins involved in GABAergic neurotransmission in the striatum of the R6/1 transgenic mouse model. Western blot, quantitative PCR and immunohistochemical analyses were conducted on male R6/1 mice and age-matched wild type littermates. Analyses were performed on 2 and 6 month-old animals, respectively, before and after the onset of motor symptoms. Expression of GAD 67, GAD 65, NL2, or gephyrin proteins, involved in GABA synthesis or synapse formation did not display major changes. In contrast, expression of alpha1, alpha3 and alpha5 GABAAR subunits was increased while the expression of delta was decreased, suggesting a change in tonic- and phasic inhibitory transmission. Western blot analysis of the striatum from 8 month-old Hdh Q111, a knock-in mouse model of HD with mild deficits, confirmed the alpha1 subunit increased expression. From immunohistochemical analyses, we also found that alpha1 subunit expression is increased in medium-sized spiny projection neurons (MSN) and decreased in parvalbumin (PV)-expressing interneurons at 2 and 6 months in R6/1 mice. Moreover, alpha2 subunit labeling on the PV and MSN cell membranes was increased at 2 months and decreased at 6 months. Alteration of gene expression in the striatum and modification of GABAA receptor subtypes in both interneurons and projection neurons suggested that HD mutation has a profound effect on synaptic plasticity at an early stage, before the onset of motor symptoms. These results also indicate that cognitive and other behavioral deficits may be associated with changes in GABAergic neurotransmission that consequently could be a relevant target for early therapeutic treatment.

Layer 5 (L5) is a major neocortical output layer containing L5A slender-tufted (L5A-st) and L5B thick-tufted (L5B-tt) pyramidal neurons. These neuron types differ in their in vivo firing patterns, connectivity and dendritic morphology amongst other features, reflecting their specific functional role within the neocortical circuits. Here, we asked whether the active properties of the basal dendrites that receive the great majority of synaptic inputs within L5 differ between these two pyramidal neuron classes. To quantify their active properties, we measured the efficacy with which action potential (AP) firing patterns backpropagate along the basal dendrites by measuring the accompanying calcium transients using two-photon laser scanning microscopy in rat somatosensory cortex slices. For these measurements we used both 'artificial' three-AP patterns and more complex physiological AP patterns that were previously recorded in anesthetized rats in L5A-st and L5B-tt neurons in response to whisker stimulation. We show that AP patterns with relatively few APs (3APs) evoke a calcium response in L5B-tt, but not L5A-st, that is dependent on the temporal pattern of the three APs. With more complex in vivo recorded AP patterns, the average calcium response was similar in the proximal dendrites but with a decay along dendrites (measured up to 100 mum) of L5B-tt but not L5A-st neurons. Interestingly however, the whisker evoked AP patterns-although very different for the two cell types-evoke similar calcium responses. In conclusion, although the effectiveness with which different AP patterns evoke calcium transients vary between L5A-st and L5B-tt cell, the calcium influx appears to be tuned such that whisker-evoked calcium transients are within the same dynamic range for both cell types.

2017 | PLoS ONE   IF 2.8
Long-term effects of interference on short-term memory performance in the rat.
Missaire M, Fraize N, Joseph MA, Hamieh AM, Parmentier R, Marighetto A, Salin PA, Malleret G

A distinction has always been made between long-term and short-term memory (also now called working memory, WM). The obvious difference between these two kinds of memory concerns the duration of information storage: information is supposedly transiently stored in WM while it is considered durably consolidated into long-term memory. It is well acknowledged that the content of WM is erased and reset after a short time, to prevent irrelevant information from proactively interfering with newly stored information. In the present study, we used typical WM radial maze tasks to question the brief lifespan of spatial WM content in rodents. Groups of rats were submitted to one of two different WM tasks in a radial maze: a WM task involving the repetitive presentation of a same pair of arms expected to induce a high level of proactive interference (PI) (HIWM task), or a task using a different pair in each trial expected to induce a low level of PI (LIWM task). Performance was effectively lower in the HIWM group than in LIWM in the final trial of each training session, indicative of a 'within-session/short-term' PI effect. However, we also observed a different 'between-session/long-term' PI effect between the two groups: while performance of LIWM trained rats remained stable over days, the performance of HIWM rats dropped after 10 days of training, and this impairment was visible from the very first trial of the day, hence not attributable to within-session PI. We also showed that a 24 hour-gap across training sessions known to allow consolidation processes to unfold, was a necessary and sufficient condition for the long-term PI effect to occur. These findings suggest that in the HIWM task, WM content was not entirely reset between training sessions and that, in specific conditions, WM content can outlast its purpose by being stored more permanently, generating a long-term deleterious effect of PI. The alternative explanation is that WM content could be transferred and stored more permanently in an intermediary form or memory between WM and long-term memory.

2017 | methods enzymol
Functional Analysis of Mitochondrial CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors (mtCB1) in the Brain.
Melser S, Pagano Zottola AC, Serrat R, Puente N, Grandes P, Marsicano G, Hebert-Chatelain E

Recent evidence indicates that, besides its canonical localization at cell plasma membranes, the type-1 cannabinoid receptor, CB1 is functionally present at brain and muscle mitochondrial membranes (mtCB1). Through mtCB1 receptors, cannabinoids can directly regulate intramitochondrial signaling and respiration. This new and surprising discovery paves the way to new potential fields of research, dealing with the direct impact of G protein-coupled receptors on bioenergetic processes and its functional implications. In this chapter, we summarize some key experimental approaches established in our laboratories to identify anatomical, biochemical, and functional features of mtCB1 receptors in the brain. In particular, we describe the procedures to obtain reliable and controlled detection of mtCB1 receptors by immunogold electromicroscopy and by immunoblotting methods. Then, we address the study of direct cannabinoid effects on the electron transport system and oxidative phosphorylation. Finally, we present a functional example of the impact of mtCB1 receptors on mitochondrial mobility in cultured neurons. Considering the youth of the field, these methodological approaches will very likely be improved and refined in the future, but this chapter aims at presenting the methods that are currently used and, in particular, at underlining the need of rigorous controls to obtain reliable results. We hope that this chapter might help scientists becoming interested in this new and exciting field of research.

2017 | front mol neurosci   IF 5.1
Ribosomal Protein S6 Phosphorylation Is Involved in Novelty-Induced Locomotion, Synaptic Plasticity and mRNA Translation.
Puighermanal E, Biever A, Pascoli V, Melser S, Pratlong M, Cutando L, Rialle S, Severac D, Boubaker-Vitre J, Meyuhas O, Marsicano G, Luscher C, Valjent E

The phosphorylation of the ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6) is widely used to track neuronal activity. Although it is generally assumed that rpS6 phosphorylation has a stimulatory effect on global protein synthesis in neurons, its exact biological function remains unknown. By using a phospho-deficient rpS6 knockin mouse model, we directly tested the role of phospho-rpS6 in mRNA translation, plasticity and behavior. The analysis of multiple brain areas shows for the first time that, in neurons, phospho-rpS6 is dispensable for overall protein synthesis. Instead, we found that phospho-rpS6 controls the translation of a subset of mRNAs in a specific brain region, the nucleus accumbens (Acb), but not in the dorsal striatum. We further show that rpS6 phospho-mutant mice display altered long-term potentiation (LTP) in the Acb and enhanced novelty-induced locomotion. Collectively, our findings suggest a previously unappreciated role of phospho-rpS6 in the physiology of the Acb, through the translation of a selective subclass of mRNAs, rather than the regulation of general protein synthesis.

30/11/2016 | Diabetes   IF 8.8
Inhibiting Microglia Expansion Prevents Diet-induced Hypothalamic and Peripheral Inflammation.
Andre C, Guzman-Quevedo O, Rey C, Remus-Borel J, Clark S, Castellanos-Jankiewicz A, Ladeveze E, Leste-Lasserre T, Nadjar A, Abrous DN, Laye S, Cota D

Cell proliferation and neuroinflammation in the adult hypothalamus may contribute to the pathogenesis of obesity. Here we tested whether the intertwining of these two processes has a role in the metabolic changes caused by three weeks of saturated high-fat diet (HFD) consumption.As compared to chow, HFD-fed mice rapidly increased body weight and fat mass, and specifically showed increased microglia number in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) of the hypothalamus. Microglia expansion required the adequate presence of fats and carbohydrates in the diet, since feeding mice a very high-fat, very low-carbohydrate diet did not affect cell proliferation. Blocking HFD-induced cell proliferation by central delivery of the antimitotic drug arabinofuranosyl cytidine (AraC) blunted food intake, body weight gain and adiposity. AraC treatment completely prevented the increase in the number of activated microglia in the ARC, the expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFalpha in microglia and the recruitment of the NF-kappaB pathway, while restoring hypothalamic leptin sensitivity. Central blockade of cell proliferation also normalized circulating levels of the cytokines leptin and IL-1beta and decreased peritoneal pro-inflammatory CD86-IR macrophages number.These findings suggest that inhibition of diet-dependent microglia expansion hinders body weight gain while preventing central and peripheral inflammatory responses due to caloric overload.

25/11/2016 | Sci Rep   IF 5.2
Plasticity in the olfactory bulb of the maternal mouse is prevented by gestational stress.
Belnoue L, Malvaut S, Ladeveze E, Abrous DN, Koehl M

Maternal stress is associated with an altered mother-infant relationship that endangers offspring development, leading to emotional/behavioral problems. However, little research has investigated the stress-induced alterations of the maternal brain that could underlie such a disruption of mother-infant bonding. Olfactory cues play an extensive role in the coordination of mother-infant interactions, suggesting that motherhood may be associated to enhanced olfactory performances, and that this effect may be abolished by maternal stress. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed the impact of motherhood under normal conditions or after gestational stress on olfactory functions in C57BL/6 J mice. We report that gestational stress alters maternal behavior and prevents both mothers' ability to discriminate pup odors and motherhood-induced enhancement in odor memory. We investigated adult bulbar neurogenesis as a potential mechanism of the enhanced olfactory function in mothers and found that motherhood was associated with an increased complexity of the dendritic tree of newborn neurons. This motherhood-evoked remodeling was totally prevented by gestational stress. Altogether, our results may thus provide insight into the neural changes that could contribute to altered maternal behavior in stressed mothers.

22/11/2016 | Cereb Cortex   IF 8.3
Activity-Dependent Neuroplasticity Induced by an Enriched Environment Reverses Cognitive Deficits in Scribble Deficient Mouse.
Hilal ML, Moreau MM, Racca C, Pinheiro VL, Piguel NH, Santoni MJ, Dos Santos Carvalho S, Blanc JM, Abada YK, Peyroutou R, Medina C, Doat H, Papouin T, Vuillard L, Borg JP, Rachel R, Panatier A, Montcouquiol M, Oliet SHR, Sans N

Planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling is well known to play a critical role during prenatal brain development; whether it plays specific roles at postnatal stages remains rather unknown. Here, we investigated the role of a key PCP-associated gene scrib in CA1 hippocampal structure and function at postnatal stages. We found that Scrib is required for learning and memory consolidation in the Morris water maze as well as synaptic maturation and NMDAR-dependent bidirectional plasticity. Furthermore, we unveiled a direct molecular interaction between Scrib and PP1/PP2A phosphatases whose levels were decreased in postsynaptic density of conditional knock-out mice. Remarkably, exposure to enriched environment (EE) preserved memory formation in CaMK-Scrib-/- mice by recovering synaptic plasticity and maturation. Thus, Scrib is required for synaptic function involved in memory formation and EE has beneficiary therapeutic effects. Our results demonstrate a distinct new role for a PCP-associated protein, beyond embryonic development, in cognitive functions during adulthood.

12/11/2016 | Brain Behav Immun   IF 5.9
Selective dentate gyrus disruption causes memory impairment at the early stage of experimental multiple sclerosis.
Planche V, Panatier A, Hiba B, Ducourneau EG, Raffard G, Dubourdieu N, Maitre M, Leste-Lasserre T, Brochet B, Dousset V, Desmedt A, Oliet SH, Tourdias T

Memory impairment is an early and disabling manifestation of multiple sclerosis whose anatomical and biological substrates are still poorly understood. We thus investigated whether memory impairment encountered at the early stage of the disease could be explained by a differential vulnerability of particular hippocampal subfields. By using experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model of multiple sclerosis, we identified that early memory impairment was associated with selective alteration of the dentate gyrus as pinpointed in vivo with diffusion-tensor-imaging (DTI). Neuromorphometric analyses and electrophysiological recordings confirmed dendritic degeneration, alteration in glutamatergic synaptic transmission and impaired long-term synaptic potentiation selectively in the dentate gyrus, but not in CA1, together with a more severe pattern of microglial activation in this subfield. Systemic injections of the microglial inhibitor minocycline prevented DTI, morphological, electrophysiological and behavioral impairments in EAE-mice. Furthermore, daily infusions of minocycline specifically within the dentate gyrus were sufficient to prevent memory impairment in EAE-mice while infusions of minocycline within CA1 were inefficient. We conclude that early memory impairment in EAE is due to a selective disruption of the dentate gyrus associated with microglia activation. These results open new pathophysiological, imaging, and therapeutic perspectives for memory impairment in multiple sclerosis.

09/11/2016 | Nature   IF 38.1
A cannabinoid link between mitochondria and memory.
Hebert-Chatelain E, Desprez T, Serrat R, Bellocchio L, Soria-Gomez E, Busquets-Garcia A, Zottola AC, Delamarre A, Cannich A, Vincent P, Varilh M, Robin LM, Terral G, Garcia-Fernandez MD, Colavita M, Mazier W, Drago F, Puente N, Reguero L, Elezgarai I, Dupuy JW, Cota D, Lopez-Rodriguez ML, Barreda-Gomez G, Massa F, Grandes P, Benard G, Marsicano G

Cellular activity in the brain depends on the high energetic support provided by mitochondria, the cell organelles which use energy sources to generate ATP. Acute cannabinoid intoxication induces amnesia in humans and animals, and the activation of type-1 cannabinoid receptors present at brain mitochondria membranes (mtCB1) can directly alter mitochondrial energetic activity. Although the pathological impact of chronic mitochondrial dysfunctions in the brain is well established, the involvement of acute modulation of mitochondrial activity in high brain functions, including learning and memory, is unknown. Here, we show that acute cannabinoid-induced memory impairment in mice requires activation of hippocampal mtCB1 receptors. Genetic exclusion of CB1 receptors from hippocampal mitochondria prevents cannabinoid-induced reduction of mitochondrial mobility, synaptic transmission and memory formation. mtCB1 receptors signal through intra-mitochondrial Galphai protein activation and consequent inhibition of soluble-adenylyl cyclase (sAC). The resulting inhibition of protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent phosphorylation of specific subunits of the mitochondrial electron transport system eventually leads to decreased cellular respiration. Hippocampal inhibition of sAC activity or manipulation of intra-mitochondrial PKA signalling or phosphorylation of the Complex I subunit NDUFS2 inhibit bioenergetic and amnesic effects of cannabinoids. Thus, the G protein-coupled mtCB1 receptors regulate memory processes via modulation of mitochondrial energy metabolism. By directly linking mitochondrial activity to memory formation, these data reveal that bioenergetic processes are primary acute regulators of cognitive functions.

04/11/2016 | Science   IF 34.7
Parsing reward from aversion.
Beyeler A

Recently microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, have been recognized as multi-tasking talents that are not only essential in the diseased brain, but also actively contribute to synaptic circuit remodeling during normal brain development. It is well established that microglia dynamically scan their environment and thereby establish transient physical contacts with neuronal synapses, which may allow them to sense and influence synaptic function. However, it is unknown whether and how the morphological dynamics of microglia and their physical interactions with synapses are affected by the induction of synaptic plasticity in the adult brain. To this end, we characterized the morphological dynamics of microglia and their interactions with synapses before and after the induction of synaptic plasticity (LTP) in the hippocampus by time-lapse two-photon imaging and electrophysiological recordings in acute brain slices. We demonstrate that during hippocampal LTP microglia alter their morphological dynamics by increasing the number of their processes and by prolonging their physical contacts with dendritic spines. These effects were absent in the presence of an NMDA receptor antagonist. Taken together, this altered behavior could reflect an active microglial involvement in circuit remodeling during activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in the healthy adult brain.

15/08/2016 | Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A   IF 9.4
Peripheral and central CB1 cannabinoid receptors control stress-induced impairment of memory consolidation.
Busquets-Garcia A, Gomis-Gonzalez M, Srivastava RK, Cutando L, Ortega-Alvaro A, Ruehle S, Remmers F, Bindila L, Bellocchio L, Marsicano G, Lutz B, Maldonado R, Ozaita A

Stressful events can generate emotional memories linked to the traumatic incident, but they also can impair the formation of nonemotional memories. Although the impact of stress on emotional memories is well studied, much less is known about the influence of the emotional state on the formation of nonemotional memories. We used the novel object-recognition task as a model of nonemotional memory in mice to investigate the underlying mechanism of the deleterious effect of stress on memory consolidation. Systemic, hippocampal, and peripheral blockade of cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptors abolished the stress-induced memory impairment. Genetic deletion and rescue of CB1 receptors in specific cell types revealed that the CB1 receptor population specifically in dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH)-expressing cells is both necessary and sufficient for stress-induced impairment of memory consolidation, but CB1 receptors present in other neuronal populations are not involved. Strikingly, pharmacological manipulations in mice expressing CB1 receptors exclusively in DBH+ cells revealed that both hippocampal and peripheral receptors mediate the impact of stress on memory consolidation. Thus, CB1 receptors on adrenergic and noradrenergic cells provide previously unrecognized cross-talk between central and peripheral mechanisms in the stress-dependent regulation of nonemotional memory consolidation, suggesting new potential avenues for the treatment of cognitive aspects on stress-related disorders.

01/08/2016 | Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A   IF 9.4
Reducing C-terminal truncation mitigates synucleinopathy and neurodegeneration in a transgenic model of multiple system atrophy.
Bassil F, Fernagut PO, Bezard E, Pruvost A, Leste-Lasserre T, Hoang QQ, Ringe D, Petsko GA, Meissner WG

Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a sporadic orphan neurodegenerative disorder. No treatment is currently available to slow down the aggressive neurodegenerative process, and patients die within a few years after disease onset. The cytopathological hallmark of MSA is the accumulation of alpha-synuclein (alpha-syn) aggregates in affected oligodendrocytes. Several studies point to alpha-syn oligomerization and aggregation as a mediator of neurotoxicity in synucleinopathies including MSA. C-terminal truncation by the inflammatory protease caspase-1 has recently been implicated in the mechanisms that promote aggregation of alpha-syn in vitro and in neuronal cell models of alpha-syn toxicity. We present here an in vivo proof of concept of the ability of the caspase-1 inhibitor prodrug VX-765 to mitigate alpha-syn pathology and to mediate neuroprotection in proteolipid protein alpha-syn (PLP-SYN) mice, a transgenic mouse model of MSA. PLP-SYN and age-matched wild-type mice were treated for a period of 11 wk with VX-765 or placebo. VX-765 prevented motor deficits in PLP-SYN mice compared with placebo controls. More importantly, VX-765 was able to limit the progressive toxicity of alpha-syn aggregation by reducing its load in the striatum of PLP-SYN mice. Not only did VX-765 reduce truncated alpha-syn, but it also decreased its monomeric and oligomeric forms. Finally, VX-765 showed neuroprotective effects by preserving tyrosine hydroxylase-positive neurons in the substantia nigra of PLP-SYN mice. In conclusion, our results suggest that VX-765, a drug that was well tolerated in a 6 wk-long phase II trial in patients with epilepsy, is a promising candidate to achieve disease modification in synucleinopathies by limiting alpha-syn accumulation.

21/07/2016 | Nature   IF 38.1
Prefrontal neuronal assemblies temporally control fear behaviour.
Dejean C, Courtin J, Karalis N, Chaudun F, Wurtz H, Bienvenu TC, Herry C

Precise spike timing through the coordination and synchronization of neuronal assemblies is an efficient and flexible coding mechanism for sensory and cognitive processing. In cortical and subcortical areas, the formation of cell assemblies critically depends on neuronal oscillations, which can precisely control the timing of spiking activity. Whereas this form of coding has been described for sensory processing and spatial learning, its role in encoding emotional behaviour remains unknown. Fear behaviour relies on the activation of distributed structures, among which the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) is known to be critical for fear memory expression. In the dmPFC, the phasic activation of neurons to threat-predicting cues, a spike-rate coding mechanism, correlates with conditioned fear responses and supports the discrimination between aversive and neutral stimuli. However, this mechanism does not account for freezing observed outside stimuli presentations, and the contribution of a general spike-time coding mechanism for freezing in the dmPFC remains to be established. Here we use a combination of single-unit and local field potential recordings along with optogenetic manipulations to show that, in the dmPFC, expression of conditioned fear is causally related to the organization of neurons into functional assemblies. During fear behaviour, the development of 4 Hz oscillations coincides with the activation of assemblies nested in the ascending phase of the oscillation. The selective optogenetic inhibition of dmPFC neurons during the ascending or descending phases of this oscillation blocks and promotes conditioned fear responses, respectively. These results identify a novel phase-specific coding mechanism, which dynamically regulates the development of dmPFC assemblies to control the precise timing of fear responses.

08/07/2016 | cell death differ   IF 8.2
Astroglial connexin43 contributes to neuronal suffering in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.
Yi C, Mei X, Ezan P, Mato S, Matias I, Giaume C, Koulakoff A

In Alzheimer's disease (AD), astrocyte properties are modified but their involvement in this pathology is only beginning to be appreciated. The expression of connexins, proteins forming gap junction channels and hemichannels, is increased in astrocytes contacting amyloid plaques in brains of AD patients and APP/PS1 mice. The consequences on their channel functions was investigated in a murine model of familial AD, the APPswe/PS1dE9 mice. Whereas gap junctional communication was not affected, we revealed that hemichannels were activated in astrocytes of acute hippocampal slices containing Abeta plaques. Such hemichannel activity was detected in all astrocytes, whatever their distance from amyloid plaques, but with an enhanced activity in the reactive astrocytes contacting amyloid plaques. Connexin43 was the main hemichannel contributor, however, a minor pannexin1 component was also identified in the subpopulation of reactive astrocytes in direct contact with plaques. Distinct regulatory pathways are involved in connexin and pannexin hemichannel activation. Inflammation triggered pannexin hemichannel activity, whereas connexin43 hemichannels were activated by the increase in resting calcium level of astrocytes. Importantly, hemichannel activation led to the release of ATP and glutamate that contributed to maintain a high calcium level in astrocytes placing them in the center of a vicious circle. The astroglial targeted connexin43 gene knocking-out in APPswe/PS1dE9 mice allowed to diminish gliotransmitter release and to alleviate neuronal damages, reducing oxidative stress and neuritic dystrophies in hippocampal neurons associated to plaques. Altogether, these data highlight the importance of astroglial hemichannels in AD and suggest that blocking astroglial hemichannel activity in astrocytes could represent an alternative therapeutic strategy in AD.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 8 July 2016; doi:10.1038/cdd.2016.63.

17/06/2016 | Nat Commun   IF 11.3
Early synaptic deficits in the APP/PS1 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease involve neuronal adenosine A2A receptors.
Viana da Silva S, Haberl MG, Zhang P, Bethge P, Lemos C, Goncalves N, Gorlewicz A, Malezieux M, Goncalves FQ, Grosjean N, Blanchet C, Frick A, Nagerl UV, Cunha RA, Mulle C

Synaptic plasticity in the autoassociative network of recurrent connections among hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells is thought to enable the storage of episodic memory. Impaired episodic memory is an early manifestation of cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the APP/PS1 mouse model of AD amyloidosis, we show that associative long-term synaptic potentiation (LTP) is abolished in CA3 pyramidal cells at an early stage. This is caused by activation of upregulated neuronal adenosine A2A receptors (A2AR) rather than by dysregulation of NMDAR signalling or altered dendritic spine morphology. Neutralization of A2AR by acute pharmacological inhibition, or downregulation driven by shRNA interference in a single postsynaptic neuron restore associative CA3 LTP. Accordingly, treatment with A2AR antagonists reverts one-trial memory deficits. These results provide mechanistic support to encourage testing the therapeutic efficacy of A2AR antagonists in early AD patients.

09/06/2016 | Nature   IF 38.1
Midbrain circuits for defensive behaviour.
Tovote P, Esposito MS, Botta P, Chaudun F, Fadok JP, Markovic M, Wolff SB, Ramakrishnan C, Fenno L, Deisseroth K, Herry C, Arber S, Luthi A

Survival in threatening situations depends on the selection and rapid execution of an appropriate active or passive defensive response, yet the underlying brain circuitry is not understood. Here we use circuit-based optogenetic, in vivo and in vitro electrophysiological, and neuroanatomical tracing methods to define midbrain periaqueductal grey circuits for specific defensive behaviours. We identify an inhibitory pathway from the central nucleus of the amygdala to the ventrolateral periaqueductal grey that produces freezing by disinhibition of ventrolateral periaqueductal grey excitatory outputs to pre-motor targets in the magnocellular nucleus of the medulla. In addition, we provide evidence for anatomical and functional interaction of this freezing pathway with long-range and local circuits mediating flight. Our data define the neuronal circuitry underlying the execution of freezing, an evolutionarily conserved defensive behaviour, which is expressed by many species including fish, rodents and primates. In humans, dysregulation of this 'survival circuit' has been implicated in anxiety-related disorders.

06/2016 | data brief
Effects of glia metabolism inhibition on nociceptive behavioral testing in rats.
Lefevre Y, Amadio A, Vincent P, Descheemaeker A, Oliet SH, Dallel R, Voisin DL

Fluoroacetate has been widely used to inhibit glia metabolism in vivo. It has yet to be shown what the effects of chronic intrathecal infusion of fluoroacetate on nociceptive behavioral testing are. The effects of chronic infusion of fluoroacetate (5 nmoles/h) for 2 weeks were examined in normal rats. Chronic intrathecal fluoroacetate did not alter mechanical threshold (von Frey filaments), responses to supra-threshold mechanical stimuli (von Frey filaments), responses to hot (hot plate) or cool (acetone test) stimuli and did not affect motor performance of the animals, which was tested with rotarod. This suggests that fluoroacetate at appropriate dose did not suppress neuronal activity in the spinal cord.

06/2016 | Neurobiol Dis   IF 4.9
MitoBrain, Putting energy into the brain.
Benard G, Bezard E, Marsicano G, Pouvreau S

31/05/2016 | Neuropharmacology   IF 4.9
Differential control of dopamine ascending pathways by serotonin2B receptor antagonists: New opportunities for the treatment of schizophrenia.
Devroye C, Cathala A, Haddjeri N, Rovera R, Vallee M, Drago F, Piazza PV, Spampinato U

Recent studies suggest that the central serotonin2B receptor (5-HT2BR) could be an interesting pharmacological target for treating neuropsychiatric disorders related to dopamine (DA) dysfunction, such as schizophrenia. Thus, the present study was aimed at characterizing the role of 5-HT2BRs in the control of ascending DA pathway activity. Using neurochemical, electrophysiological and behavioral approaches, we assessed the effects of two selective 5-HT2BR antagonists, RS 127445 and LY 266097, on in vivo DA outflow in DA-innervated regions, on mesencephalic DA neuronal firing, as well as in behavioral tests predictive of antipsychotic efficacy and tolerability, such as phencyclidine (PCP)-induced deficit in novel object recognition (NOR) test, PCP-induced hyperlocomotion and catalepsy. Both RS 127445 (0.16 mg/kg, i.p.) and LY 266097 (0.63 mg/kg, i.p.) increased DA outflow in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). RS 127445, devoid of effect in the striatum, decreased DA outflow in the nucleus accumbens, and potentiated haloperidol (0.1 mg/kg, s.c.)-induced increase in mPFC DA outflow. Also, RS 127445 decreased the firing rate of DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area, but had no effect in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Finally, both RS 127445 and LY 266097 reversed PCP-induced deficit in NOR test, and reduced PCP-induced hyperlocomotion, without inducing catalepsy. These results demonstrate that 5-HT2BRs exert a differential control on DA pathway activity, and suggest that 5-HT2BR antagonists could represent a new class of drugs for improved treatment of schizophrenia, with an ideal profile of effects expected to alleviate cognitive and positive symptoms, without eliciting extrapyramidal symptoms.

20/05/2016 | Neuroscience   IF 3.2
Early GABAergic transmission defects in the external globus pallidus and rest/activity rhythm alteration in a mouse model of Huntington's disease.
Du Z, Chazalon M, Bestaven E, Leste-Lasserre T, Baufreton J, Cazalets JR, Cho YH, Garret M

Huntington's disease (HD) is characterized by progressive motor symptoms preceded by cognitive deficits and is regarded as a disorder that primarily affects the basal ganglia. The external globus pallidus (GPe) has a central role in the basal ganglia, projects directly to the cortex, and is majorly modulated by GABA. To gain a better understanding of the time course of HD progression and gain insight into the underlying mechanisms, we analysed GABAergic neurotransmission in the GPe of the R6/1 mouse model at purportedly asymptomatic and symptomatic stages (i.e., 2 and 6 months). Western blot and quantitative PCR analyses revealed alterations in the GPe of male R6/1 mice compared with wild type littermates. Expression of proteins involved in pre- and post-synaptic GABAergic compartments as well as synapse number were severely decreased at 2 and 6 months. At both ages, patch clamp electrophysiological recordings showed a decrease of spontaneous and miniature inhibitory post-synaptic currents suggesting that Huntington's disease mutation has an early effect on the GABA signalling in the brain. Therefore, we performed continuous locomotor activity recordings from 2 to 4 months of age. Actigraphy analyses revealed rest/activity fragmentation alterations that parallel GABAergic system impairment at 2 months, while the locomotor deficit is evident only at 3 months in R6/1 mice. Our results reveal early deficits in Huntington's disease and support growing evidence for a critical role played by the GPe in physiological and pathophysiological states. We suggest that actimetry may be used as a non-invasive tool to monitor early disease progression.

20/04/2016 | Neuron   IF 14
Divergent Routing of Positive and Negative Information from the Amygdala during Memory Retrieval.
Beyeler A, Namburi P, Glober GF, Simonnet C, Calhoon GG, Conyers GF, Luck R, Wildes CP, Tye KM

Although the basolateral amygdala (BLA) is known to play a critical role in the formation of memories of both positive and negative valence, the coding and routing of valence-related information is poorly understood. Here, we recorded BLA neurons during the retrieval of associative memories and used optogenetic-mediated phototagging to identify populations of neurons that synapse in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), the central amygdala (CeA), or ventral hippocampus (vHPC). We found that despite heterogeneous neural responses within each population, the proportions of BLA-NAc neurons excited by reward predictive cues and of BLA-CeA neurons excited by aversion predictive cues were higher than within the entire BLA. Although the BLA-vHPC projection is known to drive behaviors of innate negative valence, these neurons did not preferentially code for learned negative valence. Together, these findings suggest that valence encoding in the BLA is at least partially mediated via divergent activity of anatomically defined neural populations.

21/03/2016 | Psychoneuroendocrinology   IF 4.7
Estradiol enhances retention but not organization of hippocampus-dependent memory in intact male mice.
Al Abed AS, Sellami A, Brayda-Bruno L, Lamothe V, Nogues X, Potier M, Bennetau-Pelissero C, Marighetto A

Because estrogens have mostly been studied in gonadectomized females, effects of chronic exposure to environmental estrogens in the general population are underestimated. Estrogens can enhance hippocampus-dependent memory through the modulation of information storage. However, declarative memory, the hippocampus-dependent memory of facts and events, demands more than abilities to retain information. Specifically, memory of repetitive events of everyday life such as 'where I parked' requires abilities to organize/update memories to prevent proactive interference from similar memories of previous 'parking events'. Whether such organizational processes are estrogen-sensitive is unknown. We here studied, in intact young and aged adult mice, drinking-water (1muM) estradiol effects on both retention and organizational components of hippocampus-dependent memory, using a radial-maze task of everyday-like memory. Demand on retention vs organization was manipulated by varying the time-interval separating repetitions of similar events. Estradiol increased performance in young and aged mice under minimized organizational demand, but failed to improve the age-associated memory impairment and diminished performance in young mice under high organizational demand. In fact, estradiol prolonged mnemonic retention of successive events without improving organization abilities, hence resulted in more proactive interference from irrelevant memories. c-Fos imaging of testing-induced brain activations showed that the deterioration of young memory was associated with dentate gyrus dysconnectivity, reminiscent of that seen in aged mice. Our findings support the view that estradiol is promnesic but also reveal that such property can paradoxically impair memory. These findings have important outcomes regarding health issues relative to the impact of environmental estrogens in the general population.

15/02/2016 | Nat Neurosci   IF 16.7
4-Hz oscillations synchronize prefrontal-amygdala circuits during fear behavior.
Karalis N, Dejean C, Chaudun F, Khoder S, Rozeske RR, Wurtz H, Bagur S, Benchenane K, Sirota A, Courtin J, Herry C

Fear expression relies on the coordinated activity of prefrontal and amygdala circuits, yet the mechanisms allowing long-range network synchronization during fear remain unknown. Using a combination of extracellular recordings, pharmacological and optogenetic manipulations, we found that freezing, a behavioral expression of fear, temporally coincided with the development of sustained, internally generated 4-Hz oscillations in prefrontal-amygdala circuits. 4-Hz oscillations predict freezing onset and offset and synchronize prefrontal-amygdala circuits. Optogenetic induction of prefrontal 4-Hz oscillations coordinates prefrontal-amygdala activity and elicits fear behavior. These results unravel a sustained oscillatory mechanism mediating prefrontal-amygdala coupling during fear behavior.

01/01/2016 | dis model mech   IF 4.3
The cannabinoid CB1 receptor and mTORC1 signalling pathways interact to modulate glucose homeostasis in mice.
Bermudez-Silva FJ, Romero-Zerbo SY, Haissaguerre M, Ruz-Maldonado I, Lhamyani S, El Bekay R, Tabarin A, Marsicano G, Cota D

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an intercellular signalling mechanism that is present in the islets of Langerhans and plays a role in the modulation of insulin secretion and expansion of the beta-cell mass. The downstream signalling pathways mediating these effects are poorly understood. Mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signalling is a key intracellular pathway involved in energy homeostasis and is known to importantly affect the physiology of pancreatic islets. We investigated the possible relationship between cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor signalling and the mTORC1 pathway in the endocrine pancreas of mice by using pharmacological analysis as well as mice genetically lacking the CB1 receptor or the downstream target of mTORC1, the kinase p70S6K1. In vitro static secretion experiments on islets, western blotting, and in vivo glucose and insulin tolerance tests were performed. The CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant decreased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) at 0.1 microM while increasing phosphorylation of p70S6K1 and ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6) within the islets. Specific pharmacological blockade of mTORC1 by 3 nM rapamycin, as well as genetic deletion of p70S6K1, impaired the CB1-antagonist-mediated decrease in GSIS. In vivo experiments showed that 3 mg/kg body weight rimonabant decreased insulin levels and induced glucose intolerance in lean mice without altering peripheral insulin sensitivity; this effect was prevented by peripheral administration of low doses of rapamycin (0.1 mg/kg body weight), which increased insulin sensitivity. These findings suggest a functional interaction between the ECS and the mTORC1 pathway within the endocrine pancreas and at the whole-organism level, which could have implications for the development of new therapeutic approaches for pancreatic beta-cell diseases.

Extensive evidence suggests that long term dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) deficiency results in altered emotional behaviour. We have recently demonstrated that n-3 PUFAs deficiency induces emotional alterations through abnormal corticosterone secretion which leads to altered dendritic arborisation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Here we show that hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis feedback inhibition was not compromised in n-3 deficient mice. Rather, glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signaling pathway was inactivated in the PFC but not in the hippocampus of n-3 deficient mice. Consequently, only dendritic arborisation in PFC was affected by dietary n-3 PUFAs deficiency. In addition, occlusion experiment with GR blockade altered GR signaling in the PFC of control mice, with no further alterations in n-3 deficient mice. In conclusion, n-3 PUFAs deficiency compromised PFC, leading to dendritic atrophy, but did not change hippocampal GR function and dendritic arborisation. We argue that this GR sensitivity contributes to n-3 PUFAs deficiency-related emotional behaviour deficits.

Hypothalamic neurohormones are released in a pulsatile manner. The mechanisms of this pulsatility remain poorly understood and several hypotheses are available, depending upon the neuroendocrine system considered. Among these systems, hypothalamo-neurohypophyseal magnocellular neurons have been early-considered models, as they typically display an electrical activity consisting of bursts of action potentials that is optimal for the release of boluses of the neurohormones oxytocin and vasopressin. The cellular mechanisms underlying this bursting behavior have been studied in vitro, using either acute slices of the adult hypothalamus, or organotypic cultures of neonatal hypothalamic tissue. We have recently proposed, from experiments in organotypic cultures, that specific central pattern generator networks, upstream of magnocellular neurons, determine their bursting activity. Here, we have tested whether a similar hypothesis can be derived from in vitro experiments in acute slices of the adult hypothalamus. To this aim we have screened our electrophysiological recordings of the magnocellular neurons, previously obtained from acute slices, with an analysis of autocorrelation of action potentials to detect a rhythmic drive as we recently did for organotypic cultures. This confirmed that the bursting behavior of magnocellular neurons is governed by central pattern generator networks whose rhythmic drive, and thus probably integrity, is however less satisfactorily preserved in the acute slices from adult brains.

2016 | f1000res
Cannabinoid receptor type-1: breaking the dogmas.
Busquets Garcia A, Soria-Gomez E, Bellocchio L, Marsicano G

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is abundantly expressed in the brain. This system regulates a plethora of physiological functions and is composed of cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids), and the enzymes involved in the metabolism of endocannabinoids. In this review, we highlight the new advances in cannabinoid signaling, focusing on a key component of the ECS, the type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB 1). In recent years, the development of new imaging and molecular tools has demonstrated that this receptor can be distributed in many cell types (e.g., neuronal or glial cells) and intracellular compartments (e.g., mitochondria). Interestingly, cellular and molecular effects are differentially mediated by CB 1 receptors according to their specific localization (e.g., glutamatergic or GABAergic neurons). Moreover, this receptor is expressed in the periphery, where it can modulate periphery-brain connections. Finally, the better understanding of the CB 1 receptor structure led researchers to propose interesting and new allosteric modulators. Thus, the advances and the new directions of the CB 1 receptor field will provide new insights and better approaches to profit from its interesting therapeutic profile.

2016 | Sci Rep   IF 5.2
Layer-specific potentiation of network GABAergic inhibition in the CA1 area of the hippocampus.
Colavita M, Terral G, Lemercier CE, Drago F, Marsicano G, Massa F

One of the most important functions of GABAergic inhibition in cortical regions is the tight control of spatiotemporal activity of principal neuronal ensembles. However, electrophysiological recordings do not provide sufficient spatial information to determine the spatiotemporal properties of inhibitory plasticity. Using Voltage Sensitive Dye Imaging (VSDI) in mouse hippocampal slices, we demonstrate that GABAA-mediated field inhibitory postsynaptic potentials undergo layer-specific potentiation upon activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu). VSDI recordings allowed detection of pharmacologically isolated GABAA-dependent hyperpolarization signals. Bath-application of the selective group-I mGlu receptor agonist, (S)-3,5-Dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG), induces an enhancement of the GABAergic VSDI-recorded signal, which is more or less pronounced in different hippocampal layers. This potentiation is mediated by mGlu5 and downstream activation of IP3 receptors. Our results depict network GABAergic activity in the hippocampal CA1 region and its sub-layers, showing also a novel form of inhibitory synaptic plasticity tightly coupled to glutamatergic activity.

2016 | PLoS ONE   IF 3.1
LAMP5 Fine-Tunes GABAergic Synaptic Transmission in Defined Circuits of the Mouse Brain.
Tiveron MC, Beurrier C, Ceni C, Andriambao N, Combes A, Koehl M, Maurice N, Gatti E, Abrous DN, Kerkerian-Le Goff L, Pierre P, Cremer H

LAMP5 is member of the LAMP family of membrane proteins. In contrast to the canonical members of this protein family, LAMP1 and LAMP2, which show widespread expression in many tissues, LAMP 5 is brain specific in mice. In C. elegans, the LAMP5 ortholog UNC-46 has been suggested to act a trafficking chaperone, essential for the correct targeting of the nematode vesicular GABA-transporter UNC-47. We show here that in the mouse brain LAMP5 is expressed in subpopulations of GABAergic forebrain neurons in the striato-nigral system and the olfactory bulb. The protein was present at synaptic terminals, overlapping with the mammalian vesicular GABA-transporter VGAT. In LAMP5-deficient mice localization of the transporter was unaffected arguing against a conserved role in VGAT trafficking. Electrophysiological analyses in mutants showed alterations in short term synaptic plasticity suggesting that LAMP5 is involved in controlling the dynamics of evoked GABAergic transmission. At the behavioral level, LAMP5 mutant mice showed decreased anxiety and deficits in olfactory discrimination. Altogether, this work implicates LAMP5 function in GABAergic neurotransmission in defined neuronal subpopulations.

2016 | Front Behav Neurosci   IF 3.4
Interacting Cannabinoid and Opioid Receptors in the Nucleus Accumbens Core Control Adolescent Social Play.
Manduca A, Lassalle O, Sepers M, Campolongo P, Cuomo V, Marsicano G, Kieffer B, Vanderschuren LJ, Trezza V, Manzoni OJ

Social play behavior is a highly rewarding, developmentally important form of social interaction in young mammals. However, its neurobiological underpinnings remain incompletely understood. Previous work has suggested that opioid and endocannabinoid neurotransmission interact in the modulation of social play. Therefore, we combined behavioral, pharmacological, electrophysiological, and genetic approaches to elucidate the role of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in social play, and how cannabinoid and opioid neurotransmission interact to control social behavior in adolescent rodents. Systemic administration of the 2-AG hydrolysis inhibitor JZL184 or the opioid receptor agonist morphine increased social play behavior in adolescent rats. These effects were blocked by systemic pretreatment with either CB1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) or mu-opioid receptor (MOR) antagonists. The social play-enhancing effects of systemic morphine or JZL184 treatment were also prevented by direct infusion of the CB1R antagonist SR141716 and the MOR antagonist naloxone into the nucleus accumbens core (NAcC). Searching for synaptic correlates of these effects in adolescent NAcC excitatory synapses, we observed that CB1R antagonism blocked the effect of the MOR agonist DAMGO and, conversely, that naloxone reduced the effect of a cannabinoid agonist. These results were recapitulated in mice, and completely abolished in CB1R and MOR knockout mice, suggesting that the functional interaction between CB1R and MOR in the NAcC in the modulation of social behavior is widespread in rodents. The data shed new light on the mechanism by which endocannabinoid lipids and opioid peptides interact to orchestrate rodent socioemotional behaviors.

2016 | front physiol   IF 4
Cannabinoid CB1 Receptors Are Localized in Striated Muscle Mitochondria and Regulate Mitochondrial Respiration.
Mendizabal-Zubiaga J, Melser S, Benard G, Ramos A, Reguero L, Arrabal S, Elezgarai I, Gerrikagoitia I, Suarez J, Rodriguez De Fonseca F, Puente N, Marsicano G, Grandes P

The cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor is widely distributed in the brain and peripheral organs where it regulates cellular functions and metabolism. In the brain, CB1 is mainly localized on presynaptic axon terminals but is also found on mitochondria (mtCB1), where it regulates cellular respiration and energy production. Likewise, CB1 is localized on muscle mitochondria, but very little is known about it. The aim of this study was to further investigate in detail the distribution and functional role of mtCB1 in three different striated muscles. Immunoelectron microscopy for CB1 was used in skeletal muscles (gastrocnemius and rectus abdominis) and myocardium from wild-type and CB1 -KO mice. Functional assessments were performed in mitochondria purified from the heart of the mice and the mitochondrial oxygen consumption upon application of different acute delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(9)-THC) concentrations (100 nM or 200 nM) was monitored. About 26% of the mitochondrial profiles in gastrocnemius, 22% in the rectus abdominis and 17% in the myocardium expressed CB1. Furthermore, the proportion of mtCB1 versus total CB1 immunoparticles was about 60% in the gastrocnemius, 55% in the rectus abdominis and 78% in the myocardium. Importantly, the CB1 immunolabeling pattern disappeared in muscles of CB1 -KO mice. Functionally, acute 100 nM or 200 nM THC treatment specifically decreased mitochondria coupled respiration between 12 and 15% in wild-type isolated mitochondria of myocardial muscles but no significant difference was noticed between THC treated and vehicle in mitochondria isolated from CB1 -KO heart. Furthermore, gene expression of key enzymes involved in pyruvate synthesis, tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and mitochondrial respiratory chain was evaluated in the striated muscle of CB1 -WT and CB1 -KO. CB1 -KO showed an increase in the gene expression of Eno3, Pkm2, and Pdha1, suggesting an increased production of pyruvate. In contrast, no significant difference was observed in the Sdha and Cox4i1 expression, between CB1 -WT and CB1 -KO. In conclusion, CB1 receptors in skeletal and myocardial muscles are predominantly localized in mitochondria. The activation of mtCB1 receptors may participate in the mitochondrial regulation of the oxidative activity probably through the relevant enzymes implicated in the pyruvate metabolism, a main substrate for TCA activity.

12/2015 | Neuropharmacology   IF 5.1
Stimulation of in vivo dopamine transmission and intravenous self-administration in rats and mice by JWH-018, a Spice cannabinoid.
De Luca MA, Bimpisidis Z, Melis M, Marti M, Caboni P, Valentini V, Margiani G, Pintori N, Polis I, Marsicano G, Parsons LH, Di Chiara G

The synthetic cannabinoid 1-pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)-indole (JWH-018) has been detected in about 140 samples of a smokable herbal mixture termed 'Spice'. JWH-018 is a CB1 and CB2 agonist with a higher affinity than Delta9-THC. In order to investigate the neurobiological substrates of JWH-018 actions, we studied by microdialysis in freely moving rats the effect of JWH-018 on extracellular dopamine (DA) levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core and in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). JWH-018, at the dose of 0.25 mg/kg i.p., increased DA release in the NAc shell but not in the NAc core and mPFC. Lower (0.125 mg/kg) and higher doses (0.50 mg/kg) were ineffective. These effects were blocked by CB1 receptor antagonists (SR-141716A and AM 251) and were absent in mice lacking the CB1 receptor. Ex vivo whole cell patch clamp recordings from rat ventral tegmental area (VTA) DA neurons showed that JWH-018 decreases GABAA-mediated post-synaptic currents in a dose-dependent fashion suggesting that the stimulation of DA release observed in vivo might result from disinhibition of DA neurons. In addition, on the 'tetrad' paradigm for screening cannabinoid-like effects (i.e., hypothermia, analgesia, catalepsy, hypomotility), JWH-018, at doses of 1 and 3 mg/kg i.p., produced CB1 receptor-dependent behavioural effects in rats. Finally, under appropriate experimental conditions, rats (20 mug/kg/inf i.v., FR3; nose-poking) and mice (30 mug/kg/inf i.v., FR1; lever-pressing) self-administer intravenously JWH-018. In conclusion, JWH-018 shares with the active ingredient of Marijuana, Delta9-THC, CB1-dependent reinforcing and DA stimulant actions.

12/2015 | nat rev neurosci
The endocannabinoid system in guarding against fear, anxiety and stress.
Lutz B, Marsicano G, Maldonado R, Hillard CJ

The endocannabinoid (eCB) system has emerged as a central integrator linking the perception of external and internal stimuli to distinct neurophysiological and behavioural outcomes (such as fear reaction, anxiety and stress-coping), thus allowing an organism to adapt to its changing environment. eCB signalling seems to determine the value of fear-evoking stimuli and to tune appropriate behavioural responses, which are essential for the organism's long-term viability, homeostasis and stress resilience; and dysregulation of eCB signalling can lead to psychiatric disorders. An understanding of the underlying neural cell populations and cellular processes enables the development of therapeutic strategies to mitigate behavioural maladaptation.

27/11/2015 | Neuropsychopharmacology   IF 7
Differential Control of Cocaine Self-Administration by GABAergic and Glutamatergic CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors.
Martin-Garcia E, Bourgoin L, Cathala A, Kasanetz F, Mondesir M, Gutierrez-Rodriguez A, Reguero L, Fiancette JF, Grandes P, Spampinato U, Maldonado R, Piazza PV, Marsicano G, Deroche-Gamonet V

The type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) modulates numerous neurobehavioral processes and is therefore explored as a target for the treatment of several mental and neurological diseases. However, previous studies have investigated CB1 by targeting it globally, regardless of its two main neuronal localizations on glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. In the context of cocaine addiction this lack of selectivity is critical since glutamatergic and GABAergic neuronal transmission is involved in different aspects of the disease. To determine whether CB1 exerts different control on cocaine-seeking according to its two main neuronal localizations, we used mutant mice with deleted CB1 in cortical glutamatergic neurons (Glu-CB1) or in forebrain GABAergic neurons (GABA-CB1). In Glu-CB1, gene deletion concerns the dorsal telencephalon, including neocortex, paleocortex, archicortex, hippocampal formation and the cortical portions of the amygdala. In GABA-CB1, it concerns several cortical and non-cortical areas including the dorsal striatum, nucleus accumbens, thalamic and hypothalamic nuclei. We tested complementary components of cocaine self-administration, separating the influence of primary and conditioned effects. Mechanisms underlying each phenotype were explored using in vivo microdialysis and ex vivo electrophysiology. We show that CB1 expression in forebrain GABAergic neurons controls mouse sensitivity to cocaine, while CB1 expression in cortical glutamatergic neurons controls associative learning processes. In accordance, in the nucleus accumbens, GABA-CB1 receptors control cocaine-induced dopamine release and Glu-CB1 receptors control AMPAR/NMDAR ratio; a marker of synaptic plasticity. Our findings demonstrate a critical distinction of the altered balance of Glu-CB1 and GABA-CB1 activity that could participate in the vulnerability to cocaine abuse and addiction. Moreover, these novel insights advance our understanding of CB1 neuropathophysiology.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 27 November 2015. doi:10.1038/npp.2015.351.

25/11/2015 | Hippocampus   IF 4.2
Running per se stimulates the dendritic arbor of newborn dentate granule cells in mouse hippocampus in a duration-dependent manner.
Dostes S, Dubreucq S, Ladeveze E, Marsicano G, Abrous DN, Chaouloff F, Koehl M

Laboratory rodents provided chronic unlimited access to running wheels display increased neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. In addition, recent studies indicate that such an access to wheels stimulates dendritic arborization in newly formed neurons. However, (i) the presence of the running wheel in the housing environment might also bear intrinsic influences on the number and shape of new neurons and (ii) the dendritic arborization of new neurons might be insensitive to moderate daily running activity (i.e. several hours). In keeping with these uncertainties, we have examined neurogenesis and dendritic arborization in newly formed granular cells in adult C57Bl/6N male mice housed for 3 weeks under standard conditions, with a locked wheel, with a running wheel set free 3 h/day, or with a running wheel set permanently free. The results indicate that the presence of a blocked wheel in the home cage increased cell proliferation, but not the number of new neurons while running increased in a duration-dependent manner the number of newborn neurons, as assessed by DCX labeling. Morphological analyses of the dendritic tree of newborn neurons, as identified by BrdU-DCX co-staining, revealed that although the presence of the wheel stimulated their dendritic architecture, the amplitude of this effect was lower than that elicited by running activity, and was found to be running duration-dependent. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

04/11/2015 | j neuroinflammation   IF 5.4
Altered morphological dynamics of activated microglia after induction of status epilepticus.
Avignone E, Lepleux M, Angibaud J, Nagerl UV

BACKGROUND: Microglia cells are the resident macrophages of the central nervous system and are considered its first line of defense. In the normal brain, their ramified processes are highly motile, constantly scanning the surrounding brain tissue and rapidly moving towards sites of acute injury or danger signals. These microglial dynamics are thought to be critical for brain homeostasis. Under pathological conditions, microglial cells undergo 'activation,' which modifies many of their molecular and morphological properties. Investigations of the effects of activation on motility are limited and have given mixed results. In particular, little is known about how microglial motility is altered in epilepsy, which is characterized by a strong inflammatory reaction and microglial activation. METHODS: We used a mouse model of status epilepticus induced by kainate injections and time-lapse two-photon microscopy to image GFP-labeled microglia in acute hippocampal brain slices. We studied how microglial activation affected the motility of microglial processes, including basal motility, and their responses to local triggering stimuli. RESULTS: Our study reveals that microglial motility was largely preserved in kainate-treated animals, despite clear signs of microglial activation. In addition, whereas the velocities of microglial processes during basal scanning and towards a laser lesion were unaltered 48 h after status epilepticus, we observed an increase in the size of the territory scanned by single microglial processes during basal motility and an elevated directional velocity towards a pipette containing a purinergic agonist. CONCLUSIONS: Microglial activation differentially impacted the dynamic scanning behavior of microglia in response to specific acute noxious stimuli, which may be an important feature of the adaptive behavior of microglia during pathophysiological conditions.

11/2015 | Hippocampus   IF 4.2
Effects of spaced learning in the water maze on development of dentate granule cells generated in adult mice.
Trinchero MF, Koehl M, Bechakra M, Delage P, Charrier V, Grosjean N, Ladeveze E, Schinder AF, Abrous DN

New dentate granule cells (GCs) are generated in the hippocampus throughout life. These adult-born neurons are required for spatial learning in the Morris water maze (MWM). In rats, spatial learning shapes the network by regulating their number and dendritic development. Here, we explored whether such modulatory effects exist in mice. New GCs were tagged using thymidine analogs or a GFP-expressing retrovirus. Animals were exposed to a reference memory protocol for 10-14 days (spaced training) at different times after newborn cells labeling. Cell proliferation, cell survival, cell death, neuronal phenotype, and dendritic and spine development were examined using immunohistochemistry. Surprisingly, spatial learning did not modify any of the parameters under scrutiny including cell number and dendritic morphology. These results suggest that although new GCs are required in mice for spatial learning in the MWM, they are, at least for the developmental intervals analyzed here, refractory to behavioral stimuli generated in the course of learning in the MWM. (c) 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

11/2015 | sci adv
Structural-functional connectivity deficits of neocortical circuits in the Fmr1 (-/y) mouse model of autism.
Haberl MG, Zerbi V, Veltien A, Ginger M, Heerschap A, Frick A

Fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common inherited form of intellectual disability disorder and a frequent cause of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is characterized by a high prevalence of sensory symptoms. Perturbations in the anatomical connectivity of neocortical circuits resulting in their functional defects have been hypothesized to contribute to the underlying etiology of these disorders. We tested this idea by probing alterations in the functional and structural connectivity of both local and long-ranging neocortical circuits in the Fmr1 (-/y) mouse model of FXS. To achieve this, we combined in vivo ultrahigh-field diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional MRI, and viral tracing approaches in adult mice. Our results show an anatomical hyperconnectivity phenotype for the primary visual cortex (V1), but a disproportional low connectivity of V1 with other neocortical regions. These structural data are supported by defects in the structural integrity of the subcortical white matter in the anterior and posterior forebrain. These anatomical alterations might contribute to the observed functional decoupling across neocortical regions. We therefore identify FXS as a 'connectopathy,' providing a translational model for understanding sensory processing defects and functional decoupling of neocortical areas in FXS and ASD.

10/2015 | Trends Endocrin Met   IF 9.4
The Endocannabinoid System: Pivotal Orchestrator of Obesity and Metabolic Disease.
Mazier W*, Saucisse N*, Cherifi-Gatta B, Cota D

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) functions to adjust behavior and metabolism according to environmental changes in food availability. Its actions range from the regulation of sensory responses to the development of preference for the consumption of calorically-rich food and control of its metabolic handling. ECS activity is beneficial when access to food is scarce or unpredictable. However, when food is plentiful, the ECS favors obesity and metabolic disease. We review recent advances in understanding the roles of the ECS in energy balance, and discuss newly identified mechanisms of action that, after the withdrawal of first generation cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor antagonists for the treatment of obesity, have made the ECS once again an attractive target for therapy.

23/09/2015 | Neuron   IF 15.1
Habenular CB Receptors Control the Expression of Aversive Memories.
Soria-Gomez E, Busquets-Garcia A, Hu F, Mehidi A, Cannich A, Roux L, Louit I, Alonso L, Wiesner T, Georges F, Verrier D, Vincent P, Ferreira G, Luo M, Marsicano G

Expression of aversive memories is key for survival, but the underlying brain mechanisms are not fully understood. Medial habenular (MHb) axons corelease glutamate and acetylcholine onto target postsynaptic interpeduncular (IPN) neurons, but their role in aversive memories has not been addressed so far. We found that cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB1R), key regulators of aversive responses, are present at presynaptic terminals of MHb neurons in the IPN. Conditional deletion of CB1R from MHb neurons reduces fear-conditioned freezing and abolishes conditioned odor aversion in mice, without affecting neutral or appetitively motivated memories. Interestingly, local inhibition of nicotinic, but not glutamatergic receptors in the target region IPN before retrieval, rescues these phenotypes. Finally, optogenetic electrophysiological recordings of MHb-to-IPN circuitry revealed that blockade of CB1R specifically enhances cholinergic, but not glutamatergic, neurotransmission. Thus, presynaptic CB1R control expression of aversive memories by selectively modulating cholinergic transmission at MHb synapses in the IPN.

16/09/2015 | Int J Obes (Lond)   IF 5
New insights on the role of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of energy balance.
Gatta-Cherifi B, Cota D

Within the past 15 years, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has emerged as a lipid signaling system critically involved in the regulation of energy balance, as it exerts a regulatory control on every aspect related to the search, the intake, the metabolism and the storage of calories. An overactive endocannabinoid cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor signaling promotes the development of obesity, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia, representing a valuable pharmacotherapeutic target for obesity and metabolic disorders. However, because of the psychiatric side effects, the first generation of brain-penetrant CB1 receptor blockers developed as antiobesity treatment were removed from the European market in late 2008. Since then, recent studies have identified new mechanisms of action of the ECS in energy balance and metabolism, as well as novel ways of targeting the system that may be efficacious for the treatment of obesity and metabolic disorders. These aspects will be especially highlighted in this review.International Journal of Obesity advance online publication, 6 October 2015; doi:10.1038/ijo.2015.179.

01/09/2015 | Biol Psychiatry   IF 10.3
Abnormal Fear Memory as a Model for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
Desmedt A, Marighetto A, Piazza PV

For over a century, clinicians have consistently described the paradoxical co-existence in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) of sensory intrusive hypermnesia and declarative amnesia for the same traumatic event. Although this amnesia is considered as a critical etiological factor of the development and/or persistence of PTSD, most current animal models in basic neuroscience have focused exclusively on the hypermnesia, i.e., the persistence of a strong fear memory, neglecting the qualitative alteration of fear memory. The latest is characterized by an underrepresentation of the trauma in the context-based declarative memory system in favor of its overrepresentation in a cue-based sensory/emotional memory system. Combining psychological and neurobiological data as well as theoretical hypotheses, this review supports the idea that contextual amnesia is at the core of PTSD and its persistence and that altered hippocampal-amygdalar interaction may contribute to such pathologic memory. In a first attempt to unveil the neurobiological alterations underlying PTSD-related hypermnesia/amnesia, we describe a recent animal model mimicking in mice some critical aspects of such abnormal fear memory. Finally, this line of argument emphasizes the pressing need for a systematic comparison between normal/adaptive versus abnormal/maladaptive fear memory to identify biomarkers of PTSD while distinguishing them from general stress-related, potentially adaptive, neurobiological alterations.