Kir5.1 is an inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) channel subunit abundantly expressed in the kidney and brain. We previously established the physiologic consequences of a Kcnj16 (gene encoding Kir5.1) knockout in the Dahl SS rat (SSKcnj16-/-), which caused electrolyte/pH dysregulation and high salt diet-induced mortality. Since Kir channel gene mutations may alter neuronal excitability and are linked to human seizure disorders, we hypothesized that SSKcnj16-/- rats would exhibit neurological phenotypes, including increased susceptibility to seizures. SSKcnj16-/- rats exhibited increased light sensitivity (fMRI) and reproducible sound-induced tonic-clonic audiogenic seizures confirmed by electroencephalography. Repeated seizure induction altered behavior, exacerbated hypokalemia, and led to approximately 38% mortality in male SSKcnj16-/- rats. Dietary potassium supplementation did not prevent audiogenic seizures but mitigated hypokalemia and prevented mortality induced by repeated seizures. These results reveal a distinct, non-redundant role for Kir5.1 channels in the brain, introduce a novel rat model of audiogenic seizures, and suggest yet to be identified mutations in Kcnj16 may cause or contribute to seizure disorders.
Anna D. Manis, Oleg Palygin, Elena Isaeva, Vladislav Levchenko, Peter S. LaViolette, Tengis S. Pavlov, Matthew R. Hodges, Alexander Staruschenko
Inosine triphosphate pyrophosphatase (ITPA) hydrolyzes inosine triphosphate (ITP) and other deaminated purine nucleotides to the corresponding nucleoside monophosphates. In humans, ITPA deficiency causes severe encephalopathy with epileptic seizure, microcephaly, and developmental retardation. In this study, we established neural stem cell–specific Itpa–conditional KO mice (Itpa-cKO mice) to clarify the effects of ITPA deficiency on the neural system. The Itpa-cKO mice showed growth retardation and died within 3 weeks of birth. We did not observe any microcephaly in the Itpa-cKO mice, although the female Itpa-cKO mice did show adrenal hypoplasia. The Itpa-cKO mice showed limb-clasping upon tail suspension and spontaneous and/or audiogenic seizure. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from entorhinal cortex neurons in brain slices revealed a depolarized resting membrane potential, increased firing, and frequent spontaneous miniature excitatory postsynaptic current and miniature inhibitory postsynaptic current in the Itpa-cKO mice compared with ITPA-proficient controls. Accumulated ITP or its metabolites, such as cyclic inosine monophosphates, or RNA containing inosines may cause membrane depolarization and hyperexcitability in neurons and induce the phenotype of ITPA-deficient mice, including seizure.
Yuichiro Koga, Daisuke Tsuchimoto, Yoshinori Hayashi, Nona Abolhassani, Yasuto Yoneshima, Kunihiko Sakumi, Hiroshi Nakanishi, Shinya Toyokuni, Yusaku Nakabeppu
Mutations of CNTNAP1 were associated with myelination disorders, suggesting the role of CNTNAP1 in myelination processes. Whether CNTNAP1 may have a role in early cortical neuronal development is largely unknown. In this study, we identified 4 compound heterozygous mutations of CNTNAP1 in 2 Chinese families. Using mouse models, we found that CNTNAP1 is highly expressed in neurons and is located predominantly in MAP2+ neurons during the early developmental stage. Importantly, Cntnap1 deficiency results in aberrant dendritic growth and spine development in vitro and in vivo, and it delayed migration of cortical neurons during early development. Finally, we found that the number of parvalbumin+ neurons in the cortex and hippocampus of Cntnap1–/– mice is strikingly increased by P15, suggesting that excitation/inhibition balance is impaired. Together, this evidence elucidates a critical function of CNTNAP1 in cortical development, providing insights underlying molecular and circuit mechanisms of CNTNAP1-related disease.
Wanxing Li, Lin Yang, Chuanqing Tang, Kaiyi Liu, Yulan Lu, Huijun Wang, Kai Yan, Zilong Qiu, Wenhao Zhou
Diabetic neuropathy is a major complication of diabetes. Current treatment options alleviate pain but do not stop the progression of the disease. At present, there are no approved disease-modifying therapies. Thus, developing more effective therapies remains a major unmet medical need. Seeking to better understand the molecular mechanisms driving peripheral neuropathy, as well as other neurological complications associated with diabetes, we performed spatiotemporal lipidomics, biochemical, ultrastructural, and physiological studies on PNS and CNS tissue from multiple diabetic preclinical models. We unraveled potentially novel molecular fingerprints underlying nerve damage in obesity-induced diabetes, including an early loss of nerve mitochondrial (cardiolipin) and myelin signature (galactosylceramide, sulfatide, and plasmalogen phosphatidylethanolamine) lipids that preceded mitochondrial, myelin, and axonal structural/functional defects; started in the PNS; and progressed to the CNS at advanced diabetic stages. Mechanistically, we provided substantial evidence indicating that these nerve mitochondrial/myelin lipid abnormalities are (surprisingly) not driven by hyperglycemia, dysinsulinemia, or insulin resistance, but rather associate with obesity/hyperlipidemia. Importantly, our findings have major clinical implications as they open the door to novel lipid-based biomarkers to diagnose and distinguish different subtypes of diabetic neuropathy (obese vs. nonobese diabetics), as well as to lipid-lowering therapeutic strategies for treatment of obesity/diabetes-associated neurological complications and for glycemic control.
Juan P. Palavicini, Juan Chen, Chunyan Wang, Jianing Wang, Chao Qin, Eric Baeuerle, Xinming Wang, Jung A. Woo, David E. Kang, Nicolas Musi, Jeffrey L. Dupree, Xianlin Han
Hypoglycemia is a frequent complication of diabetes, limiting therapy and increasing morbidity and mortality. With recurrent hypoglycemia, the counterregulatory response (CRR) to decreased blood glucose is blunted, resulting in hypoglycemia-associated autonomic failure (HAAF). The mechanisms leading to these blunted effects are only poorly understood. Here, we report, with ISH, IHC, and the tissue-clearing capability of iDISCO+, that growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) neurons represent a unique population of arcuate nucleus neurons activated by glucose deprivation in vivo. Repeated glucose deprivation reduces GHRH neuron activation and remodels excitatory and inhibitory inputs to GHRH neurons. We show that low glucose sensing is coupled to GHRH neuron depolarization, decreased ATP production, and mitochondrial fusion. Repeated hypoglycemia attenuates these responses during low glucose. By maintaining mitochondrial length with the small molecule mitochondrial division inhibitor-1, we preserved hypoglycemia sensitivity in vitro and in vivo. Our findings present possible mechanisms for the blunting of the CRR, significantly broaden our understanding of the structure of GHRH neurons, and reveal that mitochondrial dynamics play an important role in HAAF. We conclude that interventions targeting mitochondrial fission in GHRH neurons may offer a new pathway to prevent HAAF in patients with diabetes.
Mitchell Bayne, Alexandra Alvarsson, Kavya Devarakonda, Rosemary Li, Maria Jimenez-Gonzalez, Darline Garibay, Kaetlyn Conner, Merina Varghese, Madhavika N. Serasinghe, Jerry E. Chipuk, Patrick R. Hof, Sarah A. Stanley
The habenula (Hb) is a bilateral, evolutionarily conserved epithalamic structure connecting forebrain and midbrain structures that has gained attention for its roles in depression,(1) addiction,(2-5) rewards processing,(6) and motivation (7,8). Of its two major subdivisions, the medial (MHb) and lateral Hb (LHb), MHb circuitry and function is poorly understood relative to LHb (9). Prkar2a codes for cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) regulatory subunit IIα (RIIα), a component of the PKA holoenzyme at the center of one of the major cell-signaling pathways conserved across systems and species. Type 2 regulatory subunits (RIIα, RIIβ) determine the subcellular localization of PKA, and unlike other PKA subunits, Prkar2a has minimal brain expression except in the MHb (10). We previously showed that RIIα knockout (RIIαKO) mice resist diet-induced obesity (DIO) (11). In the present study, we report that RIIαKO mice have decreased consumption of palatable, “rewarding” foods and increased motivation for voluntary exercise. Prkar2a deficiency led to decreased habenular PKA enzymatic activity and impaired dendritic localization of PKA catalytic subunits in MHb neurons. Re-expression of Prkar2a in the Hb rescued this phenotype confirming differential roles for Prkar2a in regulating the drives for palatable foods and voluntary exercise. Our findings show that in the MHb decreased PKA signaling and dendritic PKA activity decrease motivation for food rewards while enhancing the motivation for exercise, a desirable combination of behaviors.
Edra London, Jason C. Wester, Michelle S. Bloyd, Shelby Bettencourt, Chris J. McBain, Constantine A. Stratakis
Thalamic pain, a type of central poststroke pain, frequently occurs following ischemia/hemorrhage in the thalamus. Current treatment of this disorder is often ineffective, at least in part due to largely unknown mechanisms that underlie thalamic pain genesis. Here, we report that hemorrhage caused by microinjection of type IV collagenase or autologous whole blood into unilateral ventral posterior lateral nucleus and ventral posterior medial nucleus of the thalamus increased the expression of Fgr, a member of the Src family nonreceptor tyrosine kinases, at both mRNA and protein levels in thalamic microglia. Pharmacological inhibition or genetic knockdown of thalamic Fgr attenuated the hemorrhage-induced thalamic injury on the ipsilateral side and the development and maintenance of mechanical, heat, and cold pain hypersensitivities on the contralateral side. Mechanistically, the increased Fgr participated in hemorrhage-induced microglial activation and subsequent production of TNF-α likely through activation of both NF-κB and ERK1/2 pathways in thalamic microglia. Our findings suggest that Fgr is a key player in thalamic pain and a potential target for the therapeutic management of this disorder.
Tianfeng Huang, Ganglan Fu, Ju Gao, Yang Zhang, Weihua Cai, Shaogen Wu, Shushan Jia, Shangzhou Xia, Thomas Bachmann, Alex Bekker, Yuan-Xiang Tao
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and FrontoTemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD), two incurable neurodegenerative disorders, share the same pathological hallmark named TDP43 (TAR DNA binding protein 43) proteinopathy. This event is characterized by a consistent cytoplasmic mislocalization and aggregation of the protein TDP43 which loses its physiological properties leading neurons to death. Antibody-based approaches are now emerging interventions in the field of neurodegenerative disorders. Here we tested the target specificity, in vivo distribution and therapeutic efficacy of a monoclonal full-length antibody, named E6, in TDP43 related conditions. We observed that the antibody recognizes specifically the cytoplasmic fraction of TDP43. We demonstrated its ability in targeting large neurons in the spinal cord of mice and in reducing TDP43 mislocalization and NF-B activation. We also recognized the proteasome as well as the lysosome machineries as possible mechanisms used by the antibody to reduce TDP43 proteinopathy. To our knowledge this is the first report showing the therapeutic efficacy and feasibility of a full-length antibody against TDP43 in reducing TDP43 proteinopathy in spinal neurons of an ALS/FTLD mouse model.
Silvia Pozzi, Philippe Codron, Genevieve Soucy, Laurence Renaud, Pierre Cordeau, Kallol Dutta, Christine Bareil, Jean-Pierre Julien
Depression and anxiety are frequently observed in patients suffering from neuropathic pain. The underlying mechanisms remained unclear. The ventrolateral orbital cortex (VLO) has attracted considerable interest in its role in antidepressive effect in rodents. In the present study, we further investigated the role of the VLO in the anxiodepressive consequences of neuropathic pain in a chronic constriction injury of infraorbital nerve–induced trigeminal neuralgia (TN) mouse model. Elevated plus maze, open field, forced swimming, tail suspension, and sucrose preference tests were used to evaluate anxiodepressive-like behaviors. The results show that chemogenetic activation of bilateral VLO neurons, especially CaMK2A+ pyramidal neurons, blocked the TN-induced anxiodepressive-like behaviors. Chemogenetic and optogenetic activation of VGLUT2+ or inhibition of VGAT+ VLO neurons was sufficient to produce an antianxiodepressive effect in TN mice. Pharmacological activation of D1-like receptors (D1Rs) but not D2Rs in the VLO significantly alleviated TN-induced depressive-like behaviors. Electrophysiological recordings revealed a decreased excitability of VLO excitatory neurons following neuropathic pain. Furthermore, activation of submedius thalamic nucleus–VLO (Sm-VLO) projection mimicked the antianxiodepressive effect of VLO excitation. Conversely, activation of VLO-periaqueductal gray matter (PAG) projection had no effect on TN-induced anxiodepressive behaviors. This study provides a potentially novel mechanism–based therapeutic strategy for the anxiodepressive consequences of neuropathic pain.
Hai-Yan Sheng, Su-Su Lv, Ya-Qi Cai, Wu Shi, Wei Lin, Ting-Ting Liu, Ning Lv, Hong Cao, Ling Zhang, Yu-Qiu Zhang
Seizures can result in a severe hypoperfusion/hypoxic attack that causes postictal memory and behavioral impairments. However, neither postictal changes to microvasculature nor Ca2+ changes in key cell types controlling blood perfusion have been visualized in vivo, leaving essential components of the underlying cellular mechanisms unclear. Here, we use 2-photon microvascular and Ca2+ imaging in awake mice to show that seizures result in a robust vasoconstriction of cortical penetrating arterioles, which temporally mirrors the prolonged postictal hypoxia. The vascular effect was dependent on cyclooxygenase 2, as pretreatment with ibuprofen prevented postictal vasoconstriction. Moreover, seizures caused a rapid elevation in astrocyte endfoot Ca2+ that was confined to the seizure period, and vascular smooth muscle cells displayed a significant increase in Ca2+ both during and following seizures, lasting up to 75 minutes. Our data show enduring postictal vasoconstriction and temporal activities of 2 cell types within the neurovascular unit that are associated with seizure-induced hypoperfusion/hypoxia. These findings support prevention of this event may be a novel and tractable treatment strategy in patients with epilepsy who experience extended postseizure impairments.
Cam Ha T. Tran, Antis G. George, G. Campbell Teskey, Grant R. Gordon
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