Experimental neurology [journal]
- Why depression and pain often coexist and mutually reinforce: Role of the lateral habenula. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2016 Aug 20.
The interrelation of depression and pain is increasingly coming under scrutiny. Although the lateral habenula (LHb) is widely implicated in the pathogenesis of depression and pain, its role in the interaction of depression and pain remains unknown. Thus, the aim of current study was to investigate the role of LHb in rat depression-pain comorbidity. Single extracellular firing recording and immunofluorescence methods were used to compare firing rates and c-Fos expression of the LHb neurons in normal and model rats. Following subcutaneous injection of formalin into the hind paw to simulate natural pain, we assessed pain behavior in rats subjected to the chronic, unpredictable mild stress procedure (CUMS, a model of depression). Pain sensitivity in the model rats was increased over that of controls. These rats showed a significant increase in the firing activity of LHb neurons compared with normal rats. Significantly, about 73% of neurons with high discharge frequency in LHb of model rats were pain-activated neurons (PANs), and the firing rates of PANs were inhibited by intraperitoneal injection of a tricyclic antidepressant, clomipramine. Immunofluorescence showed that the percentage of c-Fos positive cells in LHb was significantly increased in rats receiving CUMS alone, rats receiving pain stimulation alone, and rats receiving both CUMS and pain stimulation, but especially the last. The interaction effect was inhibited by injection of clomipramine. The LHb lesion can improve both depression-like behavior and pain sensitivity in depression model rats with pain. These suggest that hyperactivity of the LHb neurons contributes to depression-pain comorbidity in rats.
- Gastrin-releasing peptide facilitates glutamatergic transmission in the hippocampus and effectively prevents vascular dementia induced cognitive and synaptic plasticity deficits. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2016 Aug 15.
Neuronal gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) has been proved to be an important neuromodulator in the brain and involved in a variety of neurological diseases. Whether GRP could attenuate cognition impairment induced by vascular dementia (VD) in rats, and the mechanism of synaptic plasticity and GRP's action on synaptic efficiency are still poorly understood. In this study, we first investigated the effects of GRP on glutamatergic transmission with patch-clamp recording. We found that acute application of GRP enhanced the excitatory synaptic transmission in hippocampal CA1 neurons via GRPR in a presynaptic mechanism. Secondly, we examined whether exogenous GRP or its analogue neuromedin B (NMB) could prevent VD-induced cognitive deficits and the mechanism of synaptic plasticity. By using Morris water maze, long-term potentiation (LTP) recording, western blot assay and immunofluorescent staining, we verified for the first time that GRP or NMB substantially improved the spatial learning and memory abilities in VD rats, restored the impaired synaptic plasticity and was able to elevate the expression of synaptic proteins, synaptophysin (SYP) and CaMKII, which play pivotal roles in synaptic plasticity. These results suggest that the facilitatory effects of GRP on glutamate release may contribute to its long-term action on synaptic efficacy which is essential in cognitive function. Our findings present a new entry point for a better understanding of physiological function of GRP and raise the possibility that GRPR agonists might ameliorate cognitive deficits associated with neurological diseases.
- Harnessing the power of cell transplantation to target respiratory dysfunction following spinal cord injury. [REVIEW, JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2016 Aug 13.
The therapeutic benefit of cell transplantation has been assessed in a host of central nervous system (CNS) diseases, including disorders of the spinal cord such as traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). The promise of cell transplantation to preserve and/or restore normal function can be aimed at a variety of therapeutic mechanisms, including replacement of lost or damaged CNS cell types, promotion of axonal regeneration or sprouting, neuroprotection, immune response modulation, and delivery of gene products such as neurotrophic factors, amongst other possibilities. Despite significant work in the field of transplantation in models of SCI, limited attention has been directed at harnessing the therapeutic potential of cell grafting for preserving respiratory function after SCI, despite the critical role pulmonary compromise plays in patient outcome in this devastating disease. Here, we will review the limited number of studies that have demonstrated the therapeutic potential of intraspinal transplantation of a variety of cell types for addressing respiratory dysfunction in SCI.
- NMDA receptor antagonist prevents cell death in the hippocampal dentate gyrus induced by hyponatremia accompanying adrenal insufficiency in rats. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2016 Aug 12.
Selective apoptosis of granule cells in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) of rats with bilateral adrenalectomy (ADX) and in patients who died of adrenal insufficiency has been reported. Although adrenal insufficiency is a common disease and is usually associated with hyponatremia, its effect on the central nervous system and in apoptosis in the hippocampus remain to be elucidated. Using rat models to represent clinical hyponatremia accompanying adrenal insufficiency, we show that reduced serum [Na(+)] was associated with selective apoptosis in the DG. Nine days after ADX, apoptotic cells were observed in the DG of rats whose serum [Na(+)] was <125mEq/L (moderate hyponatremia), but rarely in those whose serum [Na(+)] was ≥125mEq/L or in normonatremic rats. Although all hyponatremic ADX rats survived following treatment with corticosterone and saline started 7days after ADX when apoptosis had not yet occurred, selective apoptosis on day 9 was not prevented in moderately hyponatremic rats. Interestingly, treatment with memantine, a noncompetitive NMDAR antagonist, prevented the selective apoptosis in the DG in moderately hyponatremic, ADX rats, and improved electrophysiological dysfunction, including impaired basal synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation at the entorhinal cortex-DG synapses. These results demonstrated that in adrenal insufficient rats, hyponatremia was associated with apoptosis in the DG, and that memantine prevented the apoptosis and improved cell function. Our data imply the importance of assessing the possibility of neurological impairments after treatment with CORT in patients with moderate or severe hyponatremia accompanying adrenal insufficiency and that memantine may represent a beneficial therapeutic strategy to prevent neurological impairments in such patients.
- Regulation of brain PPARgamma2 contributes to ketogenic diet anti-seizure efficacy. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2016 Aug 12.
The ketogenic diet (KD) is an effective therapy primarily used in pediatric patients whom are refractory to current anti-seizure medications. The mechanism of the KD is not completely understood, but is thought to involve anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant processes. The nutritionally-regulated transcription factor peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma, PPARγ, regulates genes involved in anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant pathways. Moreover, endogenous ligands of PPARγ include fatty acids suggesting a potential role in the effects of the KD. Here, we tested the hypothesis that PPARγ contributes to the anti-seizure efficacy of the KD. We found that the KD increased nuclear protein content of the PPARγ2 splice variant by 2-4 fold (P<0.05) in brain homogenates from wild-type (WT) and epileptic Kv1.1 knockout (KO) mice, while not affecting PPARγ1. The KD reduced the frequency of seizures in Kv1.1KO mice by ~70% (P<0.01). GW9662, a PPARγ antagonist, prevented KD-mediated changes in PPARγ2 expression and prevented the anti-seizure efficacy of the KD in Kv1.1KO mice. Further supporting the association of PPARγ2 in mediating KD actions, the KD significantly prolonged the latency to flurothyl-induced seizure in WT mice by ~20-35% (P<0.01), but was ineffective in PPARγ2KO mice and neuron-specific PPARγKO mice. Finally, administering the PPARγ agonist pioglitazone increased PPARγ2 expression by 2-fold (P<0.01) and reduced seizures in Kv1.1KO mice by ~80% (P<0.01). Our findings implicate brain PPARγ2 among the mechanisms by which the KD reduces seizures and strongly support the development of PPARγ2 as a therapeutic target for severe, refractory epilepsy.
- Neuroprosthetics in amputee and brain injury rehabilitation. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2016 Aug 9.
The goals of rehabilitation medicine programs are to promote health, restore functional impairments and improve quality of life. The field of neuroprosthetics has evolved over the last decade given an improved understanding of neuroscience and the incorporation of advanced biotechnology and neuroengineering in the rehabilitation setting to develop adaptable applications to help facilitate recovery for individuals with amputations and brain injury. These applications may include a simple cognitive prosthetics aid for impaired memory in brain-injured individuals to myoelectric prosthetics arms with artificial proprioceptive feedback for those with upper extremity amputations. The integration of neuroprosthetics into the existing framework of current rehabilitation approaches not only improves quality-of-care and outcomes but help broadens current rehabilitation treatment paradigms. Although, we are in the infancy of the understanding the true benefit of neuroprosthetics and its clinical applications in the rehabilitation setting there is tremendous amount of promise for future research and development of tools to help facilitate recovery and improve quality of life in individuals with disabilities.
- Odor-induced recall of emotional memories in PTSD-Review and new paradigm for research. [REVIEW, JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2016 Aug 7.
It is clinically well known that olfactory intrusions in PTSD can be a disabling phenomena due to the involuntary recall of odor memories. Odorants can trigger involuntary recall of emotional memories as well have the potential to help diminishing emotional arousal as grounding stimuli. Despite major advances in our understanding of the function of olfactory system, the study of the relation of olfaction and emotional memory is still relatively scarce. Odor memory is long thought to be different than other types of memories such as verbal or visual memories, being more strongly engraved and more closely related to strong emotions. Brain areas mediating smell memory including orbitofrontal cortex and other parts of medial prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and amygdala, have been implicated in learning and memory and are part of a neural circuitry that is involved in PTSD. The olfactory cortex itself also plays an important role in emotional processing. Clinical observations support the notion that odor-evoked memories can play a role in the symptomatology of PTSD. This paper reviews a re-emerging body of science linking odor processing to emotional processing in PTSD using the calming and grounding effect of odors as well as the use of odors in augmented exposure therapy. This results in converging evidence that olfaction is an excellent model for studying many questions germane to the field of human emotional memory processing.
- The need for calcium imaging in nonhuman primates: New motor neuroscience and brain-machine interfaces. [REVIEW, JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2016 Aug 7.
A central goal of neuroscience is to understand how populations of neurons coordinate and cooperate in order to give rise to perception, cognition, and action. Nonhuman primates (NHPs) are an attractive model with which to understand these mechanisms in humans, primarily due to the strong homology of their brains and the cognitively sophisticated behaviors they can be trained to perform. Using electrode recordings, the activity of one to a few hundred individual neurons may be measured electrically, which has enabled many scientific findings and the development of brain-machine interfaces. Despite these successes, electrophysiology samples sparsely from neural populations and provides little information about the genetic identity and spatial micro-organization of recorded neurons. These limitations have spurred the development of all-optical methods for neural circuit interrogation. Fluorescent calcium signals serve as a reporter of neuronal responses, and when combined with post-mortem optical clearing techniques such as CLARITY, provide dense recordings of neuronal populations, spatially organized and annotated with genetic and anatomical information. Here, we advocate that this methodology, which has been of tremendous utility in smaller animal models, can and should be developed for use with NHPs. We review here several of the key opportunities and challenges for calcium-based optical imaging in NHPs. We focus on motor neuroscience and brain-machine interface design as representative domains of opportunity within the larger field of NHP neuroscience.
- Mitochondrial STAT3 is negatively regulated by SOCS3 and upregulated after spinal cord injury. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2016 Aug 5; 284(Pt A):98-105.
Suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (SOCS3) expression is induced by the Janus kinase (JAK)-signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling pathway. SOCS3 then acts as a feedback inhibitor of JAK-STAT signaling. Previous studies have shown that knocking down SOCS3 in spinal cord neurons with Lentiviral delivery of SOCS3-targeting shRNA (shSOCS3) increased spinal cord injury (SCI)-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT3 (P-STAT3 Tyr), which in part contributed to decreased neuronal death and demyelination as well as enhanced dendritic regeneration and protection of neuronal morphology after SCI. However, the role of serine phosphorylation of STAT3 (P-STAT3 Ser) is in large part undetermined. Our purposes of this study were to evaluate the expression patterns of P-STAT3 Ser and to explore the possible role of SOCS3 in the regulation of P-STAT3 Ser expression. Immunoblot analyses demonstrated that Oncostatin M (OSM), a member of the interleukin-6 (IL-6) cytokine family, induced both P-STAT3 Tyr and P-STAT3 Ser in SH-SY5Y cells. Subcellular fractionation further revealed that P-STAT3 Ser was localized in mitochondria. Overexpression of SOCS3 with a Lentivirus-mediated approach in SH-SY5Y cells inhibited OSM-induced P-STAT3 Ser in both cytosol and mitochondria fractions. In contrast, OSM-induced P-STAT3 Ser was further upregulated in both cytosol and mitochondria when SOCS3 was knocked down by Lentivirus-delivered shSOCS3. Using a rat T8 spinal cord complete transection model, we found that SCI induced upregulation of P-STAT3 Ser in the mitochondria of macrophages/microglia and neurons both rostral and caudal to the injury site of spinal cord. Collectively, these results suggest that SOCS3 regulation of STAT3 signaling plays critical roles in stress conditions.
- Activation of CRHR1 receptors regulates social and depressive-like behaviors and expression of BDNF and TrkB in mesocorticolimbic regions following global cerebral ischemia. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2016 Aug 3; 284(Pt A):84-97.
Increased HPA axis activation and CRH release characterize the brain's response to global cerebral ischemia. Recently, CRH via activation of CRH type 1 receptors (CRHR1) has been shown to regulate Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) secretion and emotional behavior. The current study investigates the impact of CRHR1 blockade on BDNF/TrkB signaling expression in the mesolimbic circuitry, and social and depressive-like behavior following global ischemia. Adult male Wistar rats were injected with Antalarmin (2μg/μl) or a vehicle 30min prior to 10min global cerebral ischemia (4VO model) or sham occlusion. The Three Chamber Social Approach Test (SIT) assessed sociability and preference for social novelty, and the novelty suppressed feeding test (NSFT), forced swim test (FST), and sucrose preference test characterized anxiety and depression. Corticosterone levels and organ (thymus, seminal and adrenal glands) weights were determined as additional physiological indices of stress. Immunohistochemistry, Western blot and Rt-PCR were used to assess BDNF and TrkB receptor levels in subregions of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), nucleus accumbens (NAc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) 30days post-ischemia. Our findings indicate reduced BDNF and TrkB protein and mRNA expression in the mPFC post-ischemia, while heightened levels were found in the NAc. Ischemia increased immobility in the FST and reduced sucrose preference and led to reduced latency to feed in the NSFT and heightened sociability and social novelty preference in the SIT. Antalarmin treatment normalized post-ischemic biochemical/behavioral changes. Our findings support lasting effects of CRHR1 activation on brain plasticity markers, likely playing a role in emotional impairments following cardio- or cerebro-vascular accidents.