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Sample records for dopamine neurons selectively

  1. Disruption of NMDAR-dependent burst firing by dopamine neurons provides selective assessment of phasic dopamine-dependent behavior.

    PubMed

    Zweifel, Larry S; Parker, Jones G; Lobb, Collin J; Rainwater, Aundrea; Wall, Valerie Z; Fadok, Jonathan P; Darvas, Martin; Kim, Min J; Mizumori, Sheri J Y; Paladini, Carlos A; Phillips, Paul E M; Palmiter, Richard D

    2009-05-01

    Midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons fire in 2 characteristic modes, tonic and phasic, which are thought to modulate distinct aspects of behavior. However, the inability to selectively disrupt these patterns of activity has hampered the precise definition of the function of these modes of signaling. Here, we addressed the role of phasic DA in learning and other DA-dependent behaviors by attenuating DA neuron burst firing and subsequent DA release, without altering tonic neural activity. Disruption of phasic DA was achieved by selective genetic inactivation of NMDA-type, ionotropic glutamate receptors in DA neurons. Disruption of phasic DA neuron activity impaired the acquisition of numerous conditioned behavioral responses, and dramatically attenuated learning about cues that predicted rewarding and aversive events while leaving many other DA-dependent behaviors unaffected. PMID:19342487

  2. Attenuating GABAA Receptor Signaling in Dopamine Neurons Selectively Enhances Reward Learning and Alters Risk Preference in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Jones G.; Wanat, Matthew J.; Soden, Marta E.; Ahmad, Kinza; Zweifel, Larry S.; Bamford, Nigel S.; Palmiter, Richard D.

    2011-01-01

    Phasic dopamine transmission encodes the value of reward-predictive stimuli and influences both learning and decision-making. Altered dopamine signaling is associated with psychiatric conditions characterized by risky choices such as pathological gambling. These observations highlight the importance of understanding how dopamine neuron activity is modulated. While excitatory drive onto dopamine neurons is critical for generating phasic dopamine responses, emerging evidence suggests that inhibitory signaling also modulates these responses. To address the functional importance of inhibitory signaling in dopamine neurons, we generated mice lacking the β3 subunit of the GABAA receptor specifically in dopamine neurons (β3-KO mice) and examined their behavior in tasks that assessed appetitive learning, aversive learning, and risk preference. Dopamine neurons in midbrain slices from β3-KO mice exhibited attenuated GABA-evoked inhibitory post-synaptic currents. Furthermore, electrical stimulation of excitatory afferents to dopamine neurons elicited more dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens of β3-KO mice as measured by fast-scan cyclic voltammetry. β3-KO mice were more active than controls when given morphine, which correlated with potential compensatory upregulation of GABAergic tone onto dopamine neurons. β3-KO mice learned faster in two food-reinforced learning paradigms, but extinguished their learned behavior normally. Enhanced learning was specific for appetitive tasks, as aversive learning was unaffected in β3-KO mice. Finally, we found that β3-KO mice had enhanced risk preference in a probabilistic selection task that required mice to choose between a small certain reward and a larger uncertain reward. Collectively, these findings identify a selective role for GABAA signaling in dopamine neurons in appetitive learning and decision-making. PMID:22114279

  3. Interplay Between Cytosolic Dopamine, Calcium and α-Synuclein Causes Selective Death of Substantia Nigra Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Mosharov, Eugene V.; Larsen, Kristin E.; Kanter, Ellen; Phillips, Kester A.; Wilson, Krystal; Schmitz, Yvonne; Krantz, David E.; Kobayashi, Kazuto; Edwards, Robert H.; Sulzer, David

    2009-01-01

    Summary The basis for selective death of specific neuronal populations in neurodegenerative diseases remains unclear. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a synucleinopathy characterized by a preferential loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN), whereas neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are spared. Using intracellular patch electrochemistry to directly measure cytosolic dopamine (DAcyt) in cultured midbrain neurons, we confirm that elevated DAcyt and its metabolites are neurotoxic and that genetic and pharmacological interventions that decrease DAcyt provide neuroprotection. L-DOPA increased DAcyt in SN neurons to levels 2-3-fold higher than in VTA neurons, a response dependent on dihydropyridine-sensitive Ca2+ channels, resulting in greater susceptibility of SN neurons to L-DOPA-induced neurotoxicity. DAcyt was not altered by α-synuclein deletion, although dopaminergic neurons lacking α-synuclein were resistant to L-DOPA-induced cell death. Thus, an interaction between Ca2+, DAcyt and α-synuclein may underlie the susceptibility of SN neurons in PD, suggesting multiple therapeutic targets. PMID:19409267

  4. Disruption of dopamine neuron activity pattern regulation through selective expression of a human KCNN3 mutation.

    PubMed

    Soden, Marta E; Jones, Graham L; Sanford, Christina A; Chung, Amanda S; Güler, Ali D; Chavkin, Charles; Luján, Rafael; Zweifel, Larry S

    2013-11-20

    The calcium-activated small conductance potassium channel SK3 plays an essential role in the regulation of dopamine neuron activity patterns. Here we demonstrate that expression of a human disease-related SK3 mutation (hSK3Δ) in dopamine neurons of mice disrupts the balance between tonic and phasic dopamine neuron activity. Expression of hSK3Δ suppressed endogenous SK currents, reducing coupling between SK channels and NMDA receptors (NMDARs) and increasing permissiveness for burst firing. Consistent with enhanced excitability of dopamine neurons, hSK3Δ increased evoked calcium signals in dopamine neurons in vivo and potentiated evoked dopamine release. Specific expression of hSK3Δ led to deficits in attention and sensory gating and heightened sensitivity to a psychomimetic drug. Sensory-motor alterations and psychomimetic sensitivity were recapitulated in a mouse model of transient, reversible dopamine neuron activation. These results demonstrate the cell-autonomous effects of a human ion channel mutation on dopamine neuron physiology and the impact of activity pattern disruption on behavior. PMID:24206670

  5. Age-related changes in dopamine transporters and accumulation of 3-nitrotyrosine in rhesus monkey midbrain dopamine neurons: Relevance in selective neuronal vulnerability to degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Kanaan, N. M.; Kordower, J. H.; Collier, T. J.

    2012-01-01

    Aging is the strongest risk factor for developing Parkinson’s disease (PD). There is a preferential loss of dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tier of the substantia nigra (vtSN) compared to the dorsal tier and ventral tegmental area (VTA) in PD. Examining age-related and region-specific differences in DA neurons represents a means of identifying factors potentially involved in vulnerability or resistance to degeneration. Nitrative stress is among the factors potentially underlying DA neuron degeneration. We studied the relationship between 3-nitrotyrosine (3NT; a marker of nitrative damage) and DA transporters [DA transporter (DAT) and vesicular monoamine transporter-2 (VMAT)] during aging in DA subregions of rhesus monkeys. The percentage of DA neurons containing 3NT increased significantly only in the vtSN with advancing age, and the vtSN had a greater percentage of 3NT-positive neurons when compared to the VTA. The relationship between 3NT and DA transporters was determined by measuring fluorescence intensity of 3NT, DAT and VMAT staining. 3NT intensity increased with advancing age in the vtSN. Increased DAT, VMAT and DAT/VMAT ratios were associated with increased 3NT in individual DA neurons. These results suggest nitrative damage accumulates in midbrain DA neurons with advancing age, an effect exacerbated in the vulnerable vtSN. The capacity of a DA neuron to accumulate more cytosolic DA, as inferred from DA transporter expression, is related to accumulation of nitrative damage. These findings are consistent with a role for aging-related accrual of nitrative damage in the selective vulnerability of vtSN neurons to degeneration in PD. PMID:18598263

  6. Selective Effects of Dopamine Depletion and L-DOPA Therapy on Learning-Related Firing Dynamics of Striatal Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez, Ledia F.; Kubota, Yasuo; Hu, Dan; Howe, Mark W.; Lemaire, Nune; Graybiel, Ann M.

    2013-01-01

    Despite evidence that dopamine neurotransmission in the striatum is critical for learning as well as for movement control, little is yet known about how the learning-related dynamics of striatal activity are affected by dopamine depletion, a condition faced in Parkinson’s disease. We made localized intrastriatal 6-hydroxydopamine lesions in rats and recorded within the dopamine-depleted sensorimotor striatal zone and its contralateral correspondent as the animals learned a conditional maze task. Rather than producing global, non-specific elevations in firing rate across the task, the dopamine depletion altered striatal projection neuron activity and fast-spiking interneuron activity selectively, with sharply task-specific and cell-type specific effects, and often, with learning-stage selective effects as well. Striatal projection neurons with strong responses during the maze runs had especially elevated responsiveness during the maze runs. Projection neurons that, instead, fired most strongly prior to maze running showed elevated pre-start firing rates, but not during maze running, as learning progressed. The intrastriatal dopamine depletion severely affected the learning-related patterning of fast-spiking interneuron ensembles, especially during maze running and after extended training. Remarkably, L-DOPA treatment almost entirely reversed the depletion-induced elevations in pre-run firing of the projection neurons, and elevated their responses around start and end of maze runs. By contrast, L-DOPA failed to normalize fast-spiking interneuron activity. Thus the effects of striatal dopamine depletion and restoration on striatal activity are highly dependent not only on cell type, as previously shown, but also on the behavioral activity called for and the state of behavioral learning achieved. PMID:23486949

  7. Selective toxicity of L-DOPA to dopamine transporter-expressing neurons and locomotor behavior in zebrafish larvae.

    PubMed

    Stednitz, Sarah J; Freshner, Briana; Shelton, Samantha; Shen, Tori; Black, Donovan; Gahtan, Ethan

    2015-01-01

    Dopamine signaling is conserved across all animal species and has been implicated in the disease process of many neurological disorders, including Parkinson's disease (PD). The primary neuropathology in PD involves the death of dopaminergic cells in the substantia nigra (SN), an anatomical region of the brain implicated in dopamine production and voluntary motor control. Increasing evidence suggests that the neurotransmitter dopamine may have a neurotoxic metabolic product (DOPAL) that selectively damages dopaminergic cells. This study was designed to test this theory of oxidative damage in an animal model of Parkinson's disease, using a transgenic strain of zebrafish with fluorescent labeling of cells that express the dopamine transporter. The pretectum and ventral diencephalon exhibited reductions in cell numbers due to L-DOPA treatment while reticulospinal neurons that do not express the DAT were unaffected, and this was partially rescued by monoamine oxidase inhibition. Consistent with the MPTP model of PD in zebrafish larvae, spontaneous locomotor behavior in L-DOPA treated animals was depressed following a 24-h recovery period, while visually-evoked startle response rates and latencies were unaffected. PMID:26546233

  8. Dopamine neurons control striatal cholinergic neurons via regionally heterogeneous dopamine and glutamate signaling

    PubMed Central

    Chuhma, Nao; Mingote, Susana; Moore, Holly; Rayport, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Summary Midbrain dopamine neurons fire in bursts conveying salient information. Bursts are associated with pauses in tonic firing of striatal cholinergic interneurons. While the reciprocal balance of dopamine and acetylcholine in the striatum is well known, how dopamine neurons control cholinergic neurons has not been elucidated. Here we show that dopamine neurons make direct fast dopaminergic and glutamatergic connections with cholinergic interneurons, with regional heterogeneity. Dopamine neurons drive a burst-pause firing sequence in cholinergic interneurons in the medial shell of the nucleus accumbens, mixed actions in the accumbens core, and a pause in the dorsal striatum. This heterogeneity is due mainly to regional variation in dopamine-neuron glutamate cotransmission. A single dose of amphetamine attenuates dopamine neuron connections to cholinergic interneurons with dose-dependent regional specificity. Overall, the present data indicate that dopamine neurons control striatal circuit function via discrete, plastic connections with cholinergic interneurons. PMID:24559678

  9. Alcohol Elicits Functional and Structural Plasticity Selectively in Dopamine D1 Receptor-Expressing Neurons of the Dorsomedial Striatum

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Yifeng; Wang, Xuehua; Roltsch Hellard, Emily; Ma, Tengfei; Gil, Hannah; Ben Hamida, Sami

    2015-01-01

    Addiction is thought to be a maladaptive form of learning and memory caused by drug-evoked aberrant synaptic plasticity. We previously showed that alcohol facilitates synaptic plasticity in the dorsomedial striatum (DMS), a brain region that drives goal-directed behaviors. The majority of DMS cells are medium spiny neurons (MSNs) that express dopamine D1 receptors (D1Rs) or D2 receptors (D2Rs), which drive “Go” or “No-Go” behaviors, respectively. Here, we report that alcohol induces cell type-specific synaptic and structural plasticity in the DMS. Using mice that express a fluorescence marker to visualize D1R or D2R MSNs, we show that repeated cycles of systemic administration of alcohol or alcohol consumption induces a long-lasting increase in AMPAR activity specifically in DMS D1R but not in D2R MSNs. Importantly, we report that alcohol consumption increases the complexity of dendritic branching and the density of mature mushroom-shaped spines selectively in DMS D1R MSNs. Finally, we found that blockade of D1R but not D2R activity in the DMS attenuates alcohol consumption. Together, these data suggest that alcohol intake produces profound functional and structural plasticity events in a subpopulation of neurons in the DMS that control reinforcement-related learning. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Alcohol addiction is considered maladaptive learning and memory processes. Here we unraveled a long-lasting cellular mechanism that may contribute to the memory of alcohol-seeking behaviors. Specifically, we found that alcohol consumption produces a long-lasting enhancement of channel activity and persistent alterations of neuronal morphology in a part of the brain (DMS) that controls alcohol-drinking behaviors. Furthermore, we show that these alterations occur only in a subpopulation of neurons that positively control reward and reinforcement of drugs of abuse. Finally, we report that blocking the activity of this neuronal population reduces alcohol intake. As such

  10. Oscillating from Neurosecretion to Multitasking Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Grattan, David R.; Akopian, Armen N.

    2016-01-01

    In this issue of Cell Reports, Stagkourakis et al. (2016) report that oscillating hypothalamic TIDA neurons, previously thought to be simple neurosecretory neurons controlling pituitary prolactin secretion, control dopamine output via autoregulatory mechanisms and thus could potentially regulate other physiologically important hypothalamic neuronal circuits. PMID:27119847

  11. Dopamine Neuron-Specific Optogenetic Stimulation in Rhesus Macaques.

    PubMed

    Stauffer, William R; Lak, Armin; Yang, Aimei; Borel, Melodie; Paulsen, Ole; Boyden, Edward S; Schultz, Wolfram

    2016-09-01

    Optogenetic studies in mice have revealed new relationships between well-defined neurons and brain functions. However, there are currently no means to achieve the same cell-type specificity in monkeys, which possess an expanded behavioral repertoire and closer anatomical homology to humans. Here, we present a resource for cell-type-specific channelrhodopsin expression in Rhesus monkeys and apply this technique to modulate dopamine activity and monkey choice behavior. These data show that two viral vectors label dopamine neurons with greater than 95% specificity. Infected neurons were activated by light pulses, indicating functional expression. The addition of optical stimulation to reward outcomes promoted the learning of reward-predicting stimuli at the neuronal and behavioral level. Together, these results demonstrate the feasibility of effective and selective stimulation of dopamine neurons in non-human primates and a resource that could be applied to other cell types in the monkey brain. PMID:27610576

  12. Calcium-activated non-selective cation currents are involved in generation of tonic and bursting activity in dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta.

    PubMed

    Mrejeru, Ana; Wei, Aguan; Ramirez, Jan Marino

    2011-05-15

    Nigral dopamine neurons are transiently activated by high frequency glutamatergic inputs relaying reward-predicting sensory information. The tonic firing pattern of dopamine cells responds to these inputs with a transient burst of spikes that requires NMDA receptors. Here, we show that NMDA receptor activation further excites the cell by recruiting a calcium-activated non-selective cation current (ICAN) capable of generating a plateau potential. Burst firing in vitro is eliminated after blockade of ICAN with flufenamic acid, 9-phenanthrol, or intracellular BAPTA. ICAN is likely to be mediated by a transient receptor potential (TRP) channel, and RT-PCR was used to confirm expression of TRPM2 and TRPM4mRNA in substantia nigra pars compacta.We propose that ICAN is selectively activated during burst firing to boost NMDA currents and allow plateau potentials. This boost mechanism may render DA cells vulnerable to excitotoxicity. PMID:21486760

  13. Direct Bidirectional μ-Opioid Control of Midbrain Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Hjelmstad, Gregory O.; Fujita, Wakako; Fields, Howard L.

    2014-01-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is required for the rewarding and motivational actions of opioids and activation of dopamine neurons has been implicated in these effects. The canonical model posits that opioid activation of VTA dopamine neurons is indirect, through inhibition of GABAergic inputs. However, VTA dopamine neurons also express postsynaptic μ-opioid peptide (MOP) receptors. We report here that in Sprague Dawley rat, the MOP receptor-selective agonist DAMGO (0.5–3 μm) depolarized or increased the firing rate of 87 of 451 VTA neurons (including 22 of 110 dopamine neurons). This DAMGO excitation occurs in the presence of GABAA receptor blockade and its EC50 value is two orders of magnitude lower than for presynaptic inhibition of GABA release on to VTA neurons. Consistent with a postsynaptic channel opening, excitations were accompanied by a decrease in input resistance. Excitations were blocked by CdCl2 (100 μm, n = 5) and ω-agatoxin-IVA (100 nm, n = 3), nonselective and Cav2.1 Ca2+ channel blockers, respectively. DAMGO also produced a postsynaptic inhibition in 233 of 451 VTA neurons, including 45 of 110 dopamine neurons. The mean reversal potential of the inhibitory current was −78 ± 7 mV and inhibitions were blocked by the K+ channel blocker BaCl2 (100 μm, n = 7). Blockade of either excitation or inhibition unmasked the opposite effect, suggesting that MOP receptors activate concurrent postsynaptic excitatory and inhibitory processes in most VTA neurons. These results provide a novel direct mechanism for MOP receptor control of VTA dopamine neurons. PMID:25355223

  14. Grafted dopamine neurons: Morphology, neurochemistry, and electrophysiology.

    PubMed

    Strömberg, Ingrid; Bickford, Paula; Gerhardt, Greg A

    2010-02-01

    Grafting of dopamine-rich tissue to counteract the symptoms in Parkinson's disease became a promising tool for future treatment. This article discusses how to improve the functional outcome with respect to graft outgrowth and functions of dopamine release and electrophysiological responses to graft implantation in the host brain striatal target. It has been documented that a subpopulation of the dopamine neurons innervates the host brain in a target-specific manner, while some of the grafted dopamine neurons never project to the host striatum. Neurochemical studies have demonstrated that the graft-induced outgrowth synthesize, store, metabolize and release dopamine and possibly other neurotransmitters such as 5-HT. Furthermore, the released dopamine affects the dopamine-depleted brain in areas that are larger than the graft-derived nerve fibers reach. While stem cells will most likely be the future source of cells to be used in grafting, it is important to find the guiding cues for how to reinnervate the dopamine-depleted striatum in a proper way with respect to the dopamine subpopulations of A9 and A10 to efficiently treat the motor abnormalities seen in Parkinson's disease. PMID:19853009

  15. Brain May Compensate for Dopamine Neuron Loss Early in Parkinson's

    MedlinePlus

    ... More Science News Brain May Compensate for Dopamine Neuron Loss Early in Parkinson’s - May 09 2014 Scientists ... at least 25 percent of the brain’s dopamine neurons already have been lost. So why do symptoms ...

  16. Increased expression of the dopamine transporter leads to loss of dopamine neurons, oxidative stress and l-DOPA reversible motor deficits.

    PubMed

    Masoud, S T; Vecchio, L M; Bergeron, Y; Hossain, M M; Nguyen, L T; Bermejo, M K; Kile, B; Sotnikova, T D; Siesser, W B; Gainetdinov, R R; Wightman, R M; Caron, M G; Richardson, J R; Miller, G W; Ramsey, A J; Cyr, M; Salahpour, A

    2015-02-01

    The dopamine transporter is a key protein responsible for regulating dopamine homeostasis. Its function is to transport dopamine from the extracellular space into the presynaptic neuron. Studies have suggested that accumulation of dopamine in the cytosol can trigger oxidative stress and neurotoxicity. Previously, ectopic expression of the dopamine transporter was shown to cause damage in non-dopaminergic neurons due to their inability to handle cytosolic dopamine. However, it is unknown whether increasing dopamine transporter activity will be detrimental to dopamine neurons that are inherently capable of storing and degrading dopamine. To address this issue, we characterized transgenic mice that over-express the dopamine transporter selectively in dopamine neurons. We report that dopamine transporter over-expressing (DAT-tg) mice display spontaneous loss of midbrain dopamine neurons that is accompanied by increases in oxidative stress markers, 5-S-cysteinyl-dopamine and 5-S-cysteinyl-DOPAC. In addition, metabolite-to-dopamine ratios are increased and VMAT2 protein expression is decreased in the striatum of these animals. Furthermore, DAT-tg mice also show fine motor deficits on challenging beam traversal that are reversed with l-DOPA treatment. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that even in neurons that routinely handle dopamine, increased uptake of this neurotransmitter through the dopamine transporter results in oxidative damage, neuronal loss and l-DOPA reversible motor deficits. In addition, DAT over-expressing animals are highly sensitive to MPTP-induced neurotoxicity. The effects of increased dopamine uptake in these transgenic mice could shed light on the unique vulnerability of dopamine neurons in Parkinson's disease. PMID:25447236

  17. Dopamine neurons share common response function for reward prediction error

    PubMed Central

    Eshel, Neir; Tian, Ju; Bukwich, Michael; Uchida, Naoshige

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine neurons are thought to signal reward prediction error, or the difference between actual and predicted reward. How dopamine neurons jointly encode this information, however, remains unclear. One possibility is that different neurons specialize in different aspects of prediction error; another is that each neuron calculates prediction error in the same way. We recorded from optogenetically-identified dopamine neurons in the lateral ventral tegmental area (VTA) while mice performed classical conditioning tasks. Our tasks allowed us to determine the full prediction error functions of dopamine neurons and compare them to each other. We found striking homogeneity among individual dopamine neurons: their responses to both unexpected and expected rewards followed the same function, just scaled up or down. As a result, we could describe both individual and population responses using just two parameters. Such uniformity ensures robust information coding, allowing each dopamine neuron to contribute fully to the prediction error signal. PMID:26854803

  18. D1-like dopamine receptors selectively block P/Q-type calcium channels to reduce glutamate release onto cholinergic basal forebrain neurones of immature rats

    PubMed Central

    Momiyama, Toshihiko; Fukazawa, Yugo

    2007-01-01

    Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of non-NMDA glutamatergic EPSCs were made from identified cholinergic neurones in slices of basal forebrain (BF) of young rats (P13–P18), to investigate the subtypes of calcium channels involved in dopamine D1-like receptor-mediated presynaptic inhibition of the EPSCs. The BF cholinergic neurones were pre-labelled by intracerebroventricular injection of a fluorescent marker, Cy3-192IgG. A D1-like receptor agonist, SKF 81297 (30 μm) suppressed the EPSCs reversibly by about 30%, and this inhibition was reproducible. Calcium channel subtypes involved in the glutamatergic transmission were elucidated using selective Ca2+ channel blockers. The N-type Ca2+ channel blocker ω-conotoxin (ω-CgTX, 3 μm) suppressed the EPSCs by 57.5%, whereas the P/Q-type channel selective blocker ω-agatoxin-TK (ω-Aga-TK, 200 nm) suppressed the EPSCs by 68.9%. Simultaneous application of both blockers suppressed the EPSCs by 96.1%. The R-type Ca2+ channel blocker SNX-482 (300 nm) suppressed the EPSCs by 18.4%, whereas nifedipine, the L-type Ca2+ channel blocker (10 μm), had little effect. In the presence of ω-Aga-TK, SKF 81297, a dopamine D1-like receptor agonist, had no effect on the EPSCs. On the other hand, SKF 81297 could still inhibit the EPSCs in the presence of either ω-CgTX, SNX-482 or nifedipine. SKF 81297 had no further effect on the EPSCs when external Ca2+ concentration was raised to 7.2 mm in the presence of ω-Aga-TK, but could still inhibit the EPSCs in high Ca2+ solution after ω-CgTX application. Forskolin (FK, 10 μm), an activator of adenylyl cyclase pathway, suppressed the EPSCs, and the FK-induced effect was mostly blocked in the presence of ω-Aga-TK but not that of ω-CgTX. These results suggest that D1-like receptor activation selectively blocks P/Q-type calcium channels to reduce glutamate release onto BF cholinergic neurones. PMID:17234695

  19. Selective expression of Parkinson's disease-related Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 G2019S missense mutation in midbrain dopaminergic neurons impairs dopamine release and dopaminergic gene expression.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guoxiang; Sgobio, Carmelo; Gu, Xinglong; Sun, Lixin; Lin, Xian; Yu, Jia; Parisiadou, Loukia; Xie, Chengsong; Sastry, Namratha; Ding, Jinhui; Lohr, Kelly M; Miller, Gary W; Mateo, Yolanda; Lovinger, David M; Cai, Huaibin

    2015-09-15

    Preferential dysfunction/degeneration of midbrain substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) dopaminergic (DA) neurons contributes to the main movement symptoms manifested in Parkinson's disease (PD). Although the Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) G2019S missense mutation (LRRK2 G2019S) is the most common causative genetic factor linked to PD, the effects of LRRK2 G2019S on the function and survival of SNpc DA neurons are poorly understood. Using a binary gene expression system, we generated transgenic mice expressing either wild-type human LRRK2 (WT mice) or the LRRK2 G2019S mutation (G2019S mice) selectively in the midbrain DA neurons. Here we show that overexpression of LRRK2 G2019S did not induce overt motor abnormalities or substantial SNpc DA neuron loss. However, the LRRK2 G2019S mutation impaired dopamine homeostasis and release in aged mice. This reduction in dopamine content/release coincided with the degeneration of DA axon terminals and decreased expression of DA neuron-enriched genes tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), vesicular monoamine transporter 2, dopamine transporter and aldehyde dehydrogenase 1. These factors are responsible for dopamine synthesis, transport and degradation, and their expression is regulated by transcription factor paired-like homeodomain 3 (PITX3). Levels of Pitx3 mRNA and protein were similarly decreased in the SNpc DA neurons of aged G2019S mice. Together, these findings suggest that PITX3-dependent transcription regulation could be one of the many potential mechanisms by which LRRK2 G2019S acts in SNpc DA neurons, resulting in downregulation of its downstream target genes critical for dopamine homeostasis and release. PMID:26123485

  20. Heterogeneity of dopamine neuron activity across traits and states.

    PubMed

    Marinelli, M; McCutcheon, J E

    2014-12-12

    Midbrain dopamine neurons fire irregularly, with interspersed clusters of high-frequency spikes, commonly called 'bursts'. In this review we examine such heterogeneity in activity, and provide insight into how it can participate in psychiatric conditions such as drug addiction. We first describe several techniques used to evaluate dopamine neuron activity, and comment on the different measures that each provides. We next describe the activity of dopamine neurons in 'basal' conditions. Specifically, we discuss how the use of anesthesia and reduced preparations may alter aspects of dopamine cell activity, and how there is heterogeneity across species and regions. We also describe how dopamine cell firing changes throughout the peri-adolescent period and how dopamine neuron activity differs across the population. In the final section, we discuss how dopamine neuron activity changes in response to life events. First, we focus attention on drugs of abuse. Drugs themselves change firing activity through a variety of mechanisms, with effects on firing while drug is present differing from those seen after drug discontinuation. We then review how stimuli that are rewarding, aversive, or salient can evoke changes in firing rate and discharge pattern of dopamine neurons, and provide behavioral relevance of dopamine signaling. Finally, we discuss how stress can modulate dopamine neuron firing and how this may contribute to the role that stressful experiences play in psychiatric disorders such as addiction and depression. PMID:25084048

  1. Heterogeneity of dopamine neuron activity across traits and states

    PubMed Central

    Marinelli, Michela; McCutcheon, James E.

    2014-01-01

    Midbrain dopamine neurons fire irregularly, with interspersed clusters of high-frequency spikes, commonly called ‘bursts’. In this review we examine such heterogeneity in activity, and provide insight into how it can participate in psychiatric conditions such as drug addiction. We first describe several techniques used to evaluate dopamine neuron activity, and comment on the different measures that each provides. We next describe the activity of dopamine neurons in ‘basal’ conditions. Specifically, we discuss how the use of anesthesia and reduced preparations may alter aspects of dopamine cell activity, and how there is heterogeneity across species and regions. We also describe how dopamine cell firing changes throughout the peri-adolescent period and how dopamine neuron activity differs across the population. In the final section, we discuss how dopamine neuron activity changes in response to life events. First, we focus attention on drugs of abuse. Drugs themselves change firing activity through a variety of mechanisms, with effects on firing while drug is present differing from those seen after drug discontinuation. We then review how stimuli that are rewarding, aversive, or salient can evoke changes in firing rate and discharge pattern of dopamine neurons, and provide behavioral relevance of dopamine signaling. Finally, we discuss how stress can modulate dopamine neuron firing and how this may contribute to the role that stressful experiences play in psychiatric disorders such as addiction and depression. PMID:25084048

  2. Dopamine-Dependent Compensation Maintains Motor Behavior in Mice with Developmental Ablation of Dopaminergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    DeMaro, Joseph A.; Knoten, Amanda; Hoshi, Masato; Pehek, Elizabeth; Johnson, Eugene M.; Gereau, Robert W.

    2013-01-01

    The loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) and consequent depletion of striatal dopamine are known to underlie the motor deficits observed in Parkinson's disease (PD). Adaptive changes in dopaminergic terminals and in postsynaptic striatal neurons can compensate for significant losses of striatal dopamine, resulting in preservation of motor behavior. In addition, compensatory changes independent of striatal dopamine have been proposed based on PD therapies that modulate nondopaminergic circuits within the basal ganglia. We used a genetic strategy to selectively destroy dopaminergic neurons in mice during development to determine the necessity of these neurons for the maintenance of normal motor behavior in adult and aged mice. We find that loss of 90% of SNc dopaminergic neurons and consequent depletion of >95% of striatal dopamine does not result in changes in motor behavior in young-adult or aged mice as evaluated by an extensive array of motor behavior tests. Treatment of aged mutant mice with the dopamine receptor antagonist haloperidol precipitated motor behavior deficits in aged mutant mice, indicating that <5% of striatal dopamine is sufficient to maintain motor function in these mice. We also found that mutant mice exhibit an exaggerated response to l-DOPA compared with control mice, suggesting that preservation of motor function involves sensitization of striatal dopamine receptors. Our results indicate that congenital loss of dopaminergic neurons induces remarkable adaptions in the nigrostriatal system where limited amounts of dopamine in the dorsal striatum can maintain normal motor function. PMID:24155314

  3. Dopamine Neurons Encoding Long-Term Memory of Object Value for Habitual Behavior.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyoung F; Ghazizadeh, Ali; Hikosaka, Okihide

    2015-11-19

    Dopamine neurons promote learning by processing recent changes in reward values, such that reward may be maximized. However, such a flexible signal is not suitable for habitual behaviors that are sustained regardless of recent changes in reward outcome. We discovered a type of dopamine neuron in the monkey substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) that retains past learned reward values stably. After reward values of visual objects are learned, these neurons continue to respond differentially to the objects, even when reward is not expected. Responses are strengthened by repeated learning and are evoked upon presentation of the objects long after learning is completed. These "sustain-type" dopamine neurons are confined to the caudal-lateral SNc and project to the caudate tail, which encodes long-term value memories of visual objects and guides gaze automatically to stably valued objects. This population of dopamine neurons thus selectively promotes learning and retention of habitual behavior. PMID:26590420

  4. Functional dopamine D2 receptors on rat vagal afferent neurones.

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, A J; Krstew, E; Jarrott, B

    1995-01-01

    1. In the present study in vitro electrophysiology and receptor autoradiography were used to determine whether rat vagal afferent neurones possess dopamine D2 receptors. 2. Dopamine (10-300 microM) elicited a temperature- and concentration-dependent depolarization of the rat isolated nodose ganglion preparation. When applied to the tissue 15 min prior to agonist, raclopride (10 microM), clozapine (10 microM) or a mixture of raclopride and clozapine (10 microM each) all produced a threefold parallel shift to the right of the dopamine concentration-response curve. In contrast, SCH 23390 (100 nM), phentolamine and propranolol (1 microM each) failed to antagonize the dopamine-mediated depolarization. 3. [125I]-NCQ 298 (0.5 nM), a D2 selective radioligand, bound topographically to sections of rat brainstem. Densitometric quantification of autoradiograms revealed 93.8 +/- 0.5% specific binding of this salicylamide radioligand, as determined by raclopride (10 microM, n = 10 animals). Binding was highest in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS), particularly the medial and gelatinous subnuclei. In addition, specific binding was also observed in the interpolar spinal trigeminal nucleus and the inferior olive. 4. Unilateral nodose ganglionectomy caused a 36.6 +/- 3.0% reduction in specific binding in the denervated NTS compared to the contralateral NTS. Furthermore, the loss of binding was confined to the dorsal aspect of the medial subnucleus of the NTS. Sham surgery had no effect on the binding of [125I]-NCQ 298 in rat brainstem. 5. The present data provide evidence for the presence of functionally relevant dopamine D2 receptors on both the soma and central terminals of rat vagal afferent neurones.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) Images Figure 3 PMID:7606337

  5. Morphine disinhibits glutamatergic input to VTA dopamine neurons and promotes dopamine neuron excitation

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Ming; Zhao, Yanfang; Yang, Hualan; Luan, Wenjie; Song, Jiaojiao; Cui, Dongyang; Dong, Yi; Lai, Bin; Ma, Lan; Zheng, Ping

    2015-01-01

    One reported mechanism for morphine activation of dopamine (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is the disinhibition model of VTA-DA neurons. Morphine inhibits GABA inhibitory neurons, which shifts the balance between inhibitory and excitatory input to VTA-DA neurons in favor of excitation and then leads to VTA-DA neuron excitation. However, it is not known whether morphine has an additional strengthening effect on excitatory input. Our results suggest that glutamatergic input to VTA-DA neurons is inhibited by GABAergic interneurons via GABAB receptors and that morphine promotes presynaptic glutamate release by removing this inhibition. We also studied the contribution of the morphine-induced disinhibitory effect on the presynaptic glutamate release to the overall excitatory effect of morphine on VTA-DA neurons and related behavior. Our results suggest that the disinhibitory action of morphine on presynaptic glutamate release might be the main mechanism for morphine-induced increase in VTA-DA neuron firing and related behaviors. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09275.001 PMID:26208338

  6. Vesicular monoamine transporter 2 and dopamine transporter are molecular targets of Pitx3 in the ventral midbrain dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Dong-Youn; Hong, Sunghoi; Jeong, Joo-Won; Choi, Sangdun; Kim, Hansoo; Kim, Jangwoo; Kim, Kwang-Soo

    2016-01-01

    Midbrain dopamine (mDA) neurons play critical roles in the regulation of voluntary movement and their dysfunction is associated with Parkinson’s disease. Pitx3 has been implicated in the proper development of mDA neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta, which are selectively lost in Parkinson’s disease. However, the basic mechanisms underlying its role in mDA neuron development and/or survival are poorly understood. Toward this goal, we sought to identify downstream target genes of Pitx3 by comparing gene expression profiles in mDA neurons of wild-type and Pitx3-deficient aphakia mice. This global gene expression analysis revealed many potential target genes of Pitx3; in particular, the expression of vesicular monoamine transporter 2 and dopamine transporter, responsible for dopamine storage and reuptake, respectively, is greatly reduced in mDA neurons by Pitx3 ablation. In addition, gain-of-function analyses and chromatin immunoprecipitation strongly indicate that Pitx3 may directly activate transcription of vesicular monoamine transporter 2 and dopamine transporter genes, critically contributing to neurotransmission and/or survival of mDA neurons. As the two genes have been known to be regulated by Nurr1, another key dopaminergic transcription factor, we propose that Pitx3 and Nurr1 may coordinately regulate mDA specification and survival, at least in part, through a merging and overlapping downstream pathway. PMID:19780901

  7. Biophysically realistic minimal model of dopamine neuron

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oprisan, Sorinel

    2008-03-01

    We proposed and studied a new biophysically relevant computational model of dopaminergic neurons. Midbrain dopamine neurons are involved in motivation and the control of movement, and have been implicated in various pathologies such as Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, and drug abuse. The model we developed is a single-compartment Hodgkin-Huxley (HH)-type parallel conductance membrane model. The model captures the essential mechanisms underlying the slow oscillatory potentials and plateau potential oscillations. The main currents involved are: 1) a voltage-dependent fast calcium current, 2) a small conductance potassium current that is modulated by the cytosolic concentration of calcium, and 3) a slow voltage-activated potassium current. We developed multidimensional bifurcation diagrams and extracted the effective domains of sustained oscillations. The model includes a calcium balance due to the fundamental importance of calcium influx as proved by simultaneous electrophysiological and calcium imaging procedure. Although there are significant evidences to suggest a partially electrogenic calcium pump, all previous models considered only elecrtogenic pumps. We investigated the effect of the electrogenic calcium pump on the bifurcation diagram of the model and compared our findings against the experimental results.

  8. Aging Decreases L-Type Calcium Channel Currents and Pacemaker Firing Fidelity in Substantia Nigra Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Branch, Sarah Y.; Sharma, Ramaswamy

    2014-01-01

    Substantia nigra dopamine neurons are involved in behavioral processes that include cognition, reward learning, and voluntary movement. Selective deterioration of these neurons is responsible for the motor deficits associated with Parkinson's disease (PD). Aging is the leading risk factor for PD, suggesting that adaptations occurring in dopamine neurons during normal aging may predispose individuals to the development of PD. Previous studies suggest that the unique set of ion conductances that drive spontaneous, rhythmic firing of action potentials could predispose substantia nigra dopamine neurons to selective neurodegeneration. Here we show, using patch-clamp electrophysiological recordings in brain slices, that substantia nigra dopamine neurons from mice 25–30 months of age (old) have comparable membrane capacitance and input resistance to neurons from mice 2–7 months of age (young). However, neurons from old mice exhibit slower firing rates, narrower spike widths, and more variable interspike intervals compared with neurons from young mice. Dopamine neurons from old mice also exhibit smaller L-type calcium channel currents, providing a plausible mechanism that likely contributes to the changes in impulse activity. Age-related decrements in the physiological function of dopamine neurons could contribute to the decrease in voluntary movement and other dopamine-mediated behaviors observed in aging populations. Furthermore, as pharmacological antagonism of L-type calcium channels has been proposed as a potential treatment for the early stages of PD, our results could point to a limited temporal window of opportunity for this therapeutic intervention. PMID:25009264

  9. Selective modulation of excitatory and inhibitory microcircuits by dopamine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Wen-Jun; Goldman-Rakic, Patricia S.

    2003-03-01

    Dopamine plays an important role in the working memory functions of the prefrontal cortex, functions that are impacted in age-related memory decline, drug abuse, and a wide variety of disorders, including schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease. We have previously reported that dopamine depresses excitatory transmission between pyramidal neurons in the prefrontal cortex. Here, using paired recordings, we have investigated dopaminergic modulation of excitatory transmission from pyramidal neurons to fast-spiking (FS) interneurons. In contrast to its effect on recurrent excitation, dopamine was without effect on excitatory transmission to FS interneurons. However, dopamine has directly enhanced the excitability of the FS interneurons to the extent that even a single excitatory postsynaptic potential could initiate spiking with great temporal precision in some of them. These results indicate that dopamine's effects on excitatory transmission are target-specific and that the axon terminals of pyramidal neurons can be selectively regulated at the level of individual synapses. Thus, dopamine's net inhibitory effect on cortical function is remarkably constrained by the nature of the microcircuit elements on which it acts.

  10. Purity and Enrichment of Laser-Microdissected Midbrain Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Amanda L.; Day, Trevor A.; Dayas, Christopher V.; Smith, Doug W.

    2013-01-01

    The ability to microdissect individual cells from the nervous system has enormous potential, as it can allow for the study of gene expression in phenotypically identified cells. However, if the resultant gene expression profiles are to be accurately ascribed, it is necessary to determine the extent of contamination by nontarget cells in the microdissected sample. Here, we show that midbrain dopamine neurons can be laser-microdissected to a high degree of enrichment and purity. The average enrichment for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) gene expression in the microdissected sample relative to midbrain sections was approximately 200-fold. For the dopamine transporter (DAT) and the vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 (Vmat2), average enrichments were approximately 100- and 60-fold, respectively. Glutamic acid decarboxylase (Gad65) expression, a marker for GABAergic neurons, was several hundredfold lower than dopamine neuron-specific genes. Glial cell and glutamatergic neuron gene expression were not detected in microdissected samples. Additionally, SN and VTA dopamine neurons had significantly different expression levels of dopamine neuron-specific genes, which likely reflects functional differences between the two cell groups. This study demonstrates that it is possible to laser-microdissect dopamine neurons to a high degree of cell purity. Therefore gene expression profiles can be precisely attributed to the targeted microdissected cells. PMID:23984404

  11. Dorsal Raphe Dopamine Neurons Represent the Experience of Social Isolation.

    PubMed

    Matthews, Gillian A; Nieh, Edward H; Vander Weele, Caitlin M; Halbert, Sarah A; Pradhan, Roma V; Yosafat, Ariella S; Glober, Gordon F; Izadmehr, Ehsan M; Thomas, Rain E; Lacy, Gabrielle D; Wildes, Craig P; Ungless, Mark A; Tye, Kay M

    2016-02-11

    The motivation to seek social contact may arise from either positive or negative emotional states, as social interaction can be rewarding and social isolation can be aversive. While ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons may mediate social reward, a cellular substrate for the negative affective state of loneliness has remained elusive. Here, we identify a functional role for DA neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), in which we observe synaptic changes following acute social isolation. DRN DA neurons show increased activity upon social contact following isolation, revealed by in vivo calcium imaging. Optogenetic activation of DRN DA neurons increases social preference but causes place avoidance. Furthermore, these neurons are necessary for promoting rebound sociability following an acute period of isolation. Finally, the degree to which these neurons modulate behavior is predicted by social rank, together supporting a role for DRN dopamine neurons in mediating a loneliness-like state. PAPERCLIP. PMID:26871628

  12. Dorsal Raphe Dopamine Neurons Represent the Experience of Social Isolation

    PubMed Central

    Matthews, Gillian A.; Nieh, Edward H.; Vander Weele, Caitlin M.; Halbert, Sarah A.; Pradhan, Roma V.; Yosafat, Ariella S.; Glober, Gordon F.; Izadmehr, Ehsan M.; Thomas, Rain E.; Lacy, Gabrielle D.; Wildes, Craig P.; Ungless, Mark A.; Tye, Kay M.

    2016-01-01

    Summary The motivation to seek social contact may arise from either positive or negative emotional states, as social interaction can be rewarding and social isolation can be aversive. While ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons may mediate social reward, a cellular substrate for the negative affective state of loneliness has remained elusive. Here, we identify a functional role for DA neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), in which we observe synaptic changes following acute social isolation. DRN DA neurons show increased activity upon social contact following isolation, revealed by in vivo calcium imaging. Optogenetic activation of DRN DA neurons increases social preference but causes place avoidance. Furthermore, these neurons are necessary for promoting rebound sociability following an acute period of isolation. Finally, the degree to which these neurons modulate behavior is predicted by social rank, together supporting a role for DRN dopamine neurons in mediating a loneliness-like state. PaperClip PMID:26871628

  13. Oestrogen Receptors Enhance Dopamine Neurone Survival in Rat Midbrain

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, M. L.; Ho, C. C.; Day, A. E.; Walker, Q. D.; Francis, R.; Kuhn, C. M.

    2011-01-01

    Previous findings in our laboratory and elsewhere have shown that ovariectomy of rats in adulthood attenuates cocaine-stimulated locomotor behaviour. Ovarian hormones enhance both cocaine-stimulated behaviour and increase dopamine overflow after psychomotor stimulants. The present study aimed to determine whether ovarian hormones have these effects in part by maintaining dopamine neurone number in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) and to investigate the roles of specific oestrogen receptors (ERs) in the maintenance of mesencephalic dopamine neurones. To accomplish this goal, we used unbiased stereological techniques to estimate the number of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive (TH-IR) cell bodies in midbrain regions of intact, ovariectomised and hormone-replaced female rats and mice. Animals received active or sham gonadectomy on postnatal day 60 and received vehicle, 17β-oestradiol (E2) or selective ER agonists propyl-pyrazole-triol (PPT, ERα) or diarylpropionitrile (DPN, ERβ) for 1 month post-surgery. In both rats and mice, ovariectomy reduced the number of TH-IR cells in the SNpc and VTA. Replacement with E2, PPT or DPN prevented or attenuated the loss observed with ovariectomy in both rats and mice. An additional study using ER knockout mice revealed that adult female mice lacking ERα had fewer TH-IR cells in midbrain regions than wild-type mice, whereas mice lacking ERβ had TH-IR cell counts comparable to wild-type. These findings suggest that, although both ER subtypes play a role in the maintenance of TH-IR cell number in the SNpc and VTA, ERα may play a more significant role. PMID:20136693

  14. Dopamine receptor-mediated regulation of neuronal "clock" gene expression.

    PubMed

    Imbesi, M; Yildiz, S; Dirim Arslan, A; Sharma, R; Manev, H; Uz, T

    2009-01-23

    Using a transgenic mice model (i.e. "clock" knockouts), clock transcription factors have been suggested as critical regulators of dopaminergic behaviors induced by drugs of abuse. Moreover, it has been shown that systemic administration of psychostimulants, such as cocaine and methamphetamine regulates the striatal expression of clock genes. However, it is not known whether dopamine receptors mediate these regulatory effects of psychostimulants at the cellular level. Primary striatal neurons in culture express dopamine receptors as well as clock genes and have been successfully used in studying dopamine receptor functioning. Therefore, we investigated the role of dopamine receptors on neuronal clock gene expression in this model using specific receptor agonists. We found an inhibitory effect on the expression of mClock and mPer1 genes with the D2-class (i.e. D2/D3) receptor agonist quinpirole. We also found a generalized stimulatory effect on the expression of clock genes mPer1, mClock, mNPAS2 (neuronal PAS domain protein 2), and mBmal1 with the D1-class (i.e. D1) receptor agonist SKF38393. Further, we tested whether systemic administration of dopamine receptor agonists causes similar changes in striatal clock gene expression in vivo. We found quinpirole-induced alterations in mPER1 protein levels in the mouse striatum (i.e. rhythm shift). Collectively, our results indicate that the dopamine receptor system may mediate psychostimulant-induced changes in clock gene expression. Using striatal neurons in culture as a model, further research is needed to better understand how dopamine signaling modulates the expression dynamics of clock genes (i.e. intracellular signaling pathways) and thereby influences neuronal gene expression, neuronal transmission, and brain functioning. PMID:19017537

  15. Glutamate neurons are intermixed with midbrain dopamine neurons in nonhuman primates and humans.

    PubMed

    Root, David H; Wang, Hui-Ling; Liu, Bing; Barker, David J; Mód, László; Szocsics, Péter; Silva, Afonso C; Maglóczky, Zsófia; Morales, Marisela

    2016-01-01

    The rodent ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC) contain dopamine neurons intermixed with glutamate neurons (expressing vesicular glutamate transporter 2; VGluT2), which play roles in reward and aversion. However, identifying the neuronal compositions of the VTA and SNC in higher mammals has remained challenging. Here, we revealed VGluT2 neurons within the VTA and SNC of nonhuman primates and humans by simultaneous detection of VGluT2 mRNA and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH; for identification of dopamine neurons). We found that several VTA subdivisions share similar cellular compositions in nonhuman primates and humans; their rostral linear nuclei have a high prevalence of VGluT2 neurons lacking TH; their paranigral and parabrachial pigmented nuclei have mostly TH neurons, and their parabrachial pigmented nuclei have dual VGluT2-TH neurons. Within nonhuman primates and humans SNC, the vast majority of neurons are TH neurons but VGluT2 neurons were detected in the pars lateralis subdivision. The demonstration that midbrain dopamine neurons are intermixed with glutamate or glutamate-dopamine neurons from rodents to humans offers new opportunities for translational studies towards analyzing the roles that each of these neurons play in human behavior and in midbrain-associated illnesses such as addiction, depression, schizophrenia, and Parkinson's disease. PMID:27477243

  16. Glutamate neurons are intermixed with midbrain dopamine neurons in nonhuman primates and humans

    PubMed Central

    Root, David H.; Wang, Hui-Ling; Liu, Bing; Barker, David J.; Mód, László; Szocsics, Péter; Silva, Afonso C.; Maglóczky, Zsófia; Morales, Marisela

    2016-01-01

    The rodent ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC) contain dopamine neurons intermixed with glutamate neurons (expressing vesicular glutamate transporter 2; VGluT2), which play roles in reward and aversion. However, identifying the neuronal compositions of the VTA and SNC in higher mammals has remained challenging. Here, we revealed VGluT2 neurons within the VTA and SNC of nonhuman primates and humans by simultaneous detection of VGluT2 mRNA and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH; for identification of dopamine neurons). We found that several VTA subdivisions share similar cellular compositions in nonhuman primates and humans; their rostral linear nuclei have a high prevalence of VGluT2 neurons lacking TH; their paranigral and parabrachial pigmented nuclei have mostly TH neurons, and their parabrachial pigmented nuclei have dual VGluT2-TH neurons. Within nonhuman primates and humans SNC, the vast majority of neurons are TH neurons but VGluT2 neurons were detected in the pars lateralis subdivision. The demonstration that midbrain dopamine neurons are intermixed with glutamate or glutamate-dopamine neurons from rodents to humans offers new opportunities for translational studies towards analyzing the roles that each of these neurons play in human behavior and in midbrain-associated illnesses such as addiction, depression, schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s disease. PMID:27477243

  17. A Causal Link Between Prediction Errors, Dopamine Neurons and Learning

    PubMed Central

    Steinberg, Elizabeth E.; Keiflin, Ronald; Boivin, Josiah R.; Witten, Ilana B.; Deisseroth, Karl; Janak, Patricia H.

    2013-01-01

    Situations where rewards are unexpectedly obtained or withheld represent opportunities for new learning. Often, this learning includes identifying cues that predict reward availability. Unexpected rewards strongly activate midbrain dopamine neurons. This phasic signal is proposed to support learning about antecedent cues by signaling discrepancies between actual and expected outcomes, termed a reward prediction error. However, it is unknown whether dopamine neuron prediction error signaling and cue-reward learning are causally linked. To test this hypothesis, we manipulated dopamine neuron activity in rats in two behavioral procedures, associative blocking and extinction, that illustrate the essential function of prediction errors in learning. We observed that optogenetic activation of dopamine neurons concurrent with reward delivery, mimicking a prediction error, was sufficient to cause long-lasting increases in cue-elicited reward-seeking behavior. Our findings establish a causal role for temporally-precise dopamine neuron signaling in cue-reward learning, bridging a critical gap between experimental evidence and influential theoretical frameworks. PMID:23708143

  18. A causal link between prediction errors, dopamine neurons and learning.

    PubMed

    Steinberg, Elizabeth E; Keiflin, Ronald; Boivin, Josiah R; Witten, Ilana B; Deisseroth, Karl; Janak, Patricia H

    2013-07-01

    Situations in which rewards are unexpectedly obtained or withheld represent opportunities for new learning. Often, this learning includes identifying cues that predict reward availability. Unexpected rewards strongly activate midbrain dopamine neurons. This phasic signal is proposed to support learning about antecedent cues by signaling discrepancies between actual and expected outcomes, termed a reward prediction error. However, it is unknown whether dopamine neuron prediction error signaling and cue-reward learning are causally linked. To test this hypothesis, we manipulated dopamine neuron activity in rats in two behavioral procedures, associative blocking and extinction, that illustrate the essential function of prediction errors in learning. We observed that optogenetic activation of dopamine neurons concurrent with reward delivery, mimicking a prediction error, was sufficient to cause long-lasting increases in cue-elicited reward-seeking behavior. Our findings establish a causal role for temporally precise dopamine neuron signaling in cue-reward learning, bridging a critical gap between experimental evidence and influential theoretical frameworks. PMID:23708143

  19. Cytosolic Sulfotransferase 1A3 Is Induced by Dopamine and Protects Neuronal Cells from Dopamine Toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Sidharthan, Neelima P.; Minchin, Rodney F.; Butcher, Neville J.

    2013-01-01

    Dopamine neurotoxicity is associated with several neurodegenerative diseases, and neurons utilize several mechanisms, including uptake and metabolism, to protect them from injury. Metabolism of dopamine involves three enzymes: monoamine oxidase, catechol O-methyltransferase, and sulfotransferase. In primates but not lower order animals, a sulfotransferase (SULT1A3) is present that can rapidly metabolize dopamine to dopamine sulfate. Here, we show that SULT1A3 and a closely related protein SULT1A1 are highly inducible by dopamine. This involves activation of the D1 and NMDA receptors. Both ERK1/2 phosphorylation and calcineurin activation are required for induction. Pharmacological agents that inhibited induction or siRNA targeting SULT1A3 significantly increased the susceptibility of cells to dopamine toxicity. Taken together, these results show that dopamine can induce its own metabolism and protect neuron-like cells from damage, suggesting that SULT1A3 activity may be a risk factor for dopamine-dependent neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:24136195

  20. α-synuclein and synapsin III cooperatively regulate synaptic function in dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Zaltieri, Michela; Grigoletto, Jessica; Longhena, Francesca; Navarria, Laura; Favero, Gaia; Castrezzati, Stefania; Colivicchi, Maria Alessandra; Della Corte, Laura; Rezzani, Rita; Pizzi, Marina; Benfenati, Fabio; Spillantini, Maria Grazia; Missale, Cristina; Spano, PierFranco; Bellucci, Arianna

    2015-07-01

    The main neuropathological features of Parkinson's disease are dopaminergic nigrostriatal neuron degeneration, and intraneuronal and intraneuritic proteinaceous inclusions named Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites, respectively, which mainly contain α-synuclein (α-syn, also known as SNCA). The neuronal phosphoprotein synapsin III (also known as SYN3), is a pivotal regulator of dopamine neuron synaptic function. Here, we show that α-syn interacts with and modulates synapsin III. The absence of α-syn causes a selective increase and redistribution of synapsin III, and changes the organization of synaptic vesicle pools in dopamine neurons. In α-syn-null mice, the alterations of synapsin III induce an increased locomotor response to the stimulation of synapsin-dependent dopamine overflow, despite this, these mice show decreased basal and depolarization-dependent striatal dopamine release. Of note, synapsin III seems to be involved in α-syn aggregation, which also coaxes its increase and redistribution. Furthermore, synapsin III accumulates in the caudate and putamen of individuals with Parkinson's disease. These findings support a reciprocal modulatory interaction of α-syn and synapsin III in the regulation of dopamine neuron synaptic function. PMID:25967550

  1. Dopamine modulates excitability of basolateral amygdala neurons in vitro.

    PubMed

    Kröner, Sven; Rosenkranz, J Amiel; Grace, Anthony A; Barrionuevo, German

    2005-03-01

    The amygdala plays a role in affective behaviors, which are modulated by the dopamine (DA) innervation of the basolateral amygdala complex (BLA). Although in vivo studies indicate that activation of DA receptors alters BLA neuronal activity, it is unclear whether DA exerts direct effects on BLA neurons or whether it acts via indirect effects on BLA afferents. Using whole cell patch-clamp recordings in rat brain slices, we investigated the site and mechanisms through which DA regulates the excitability of BLA neurons. Dopamine enhanced the excitability of BLA projection neurons in response to somatic current injections via a postsynaptic effect. Dopamine D1 receptor activation increased excitability and evoked firing, whereas D2 receptor activation increased input resistance. Current- and voltage-clamp experiments in projection neurons showed that D1 receptor activation enhanced excitability by modulating a 4-aminopyridine- and alpha-dendrotoxin-sensitive, slowly inactivating K+ current. Furthermore, DA and D1 receptor activation increased evoked firing in fast-spiking BLA interneurons. Consistent with a postsynaptic modulation of interneuron excitability, DA also increased the frequency of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents recorded in projection neurons without changing release of GABA. These data demonstrate that DA exerts direct effects on BLA projection neurons and indirect actions via modulation of interneurons that may work in concert to enhance the neuronal response to large, suprathreshold inputs, while suppressing weaker inputs. PMID:15537813

  2. Electrophysiological properties of mouse dopamine neurons: in vivo and in vitro studies.

    PubMed

    Sanghera, M K; Trulson, M E; German, D C

    1984-07-01

    The present experiments were conducted to determine the electrophysiological and pharmacological properties of substantia nigra neurons in the mouse. These cells were studied using extracellular single unit recording and microiontophoretic techniques in both chloral hydrate anesthetized mice and in vitro mouse slices. In the in vivo preparation the substantia nigra zona compacta neurons had long duration action potentials (greater than 4 ms), fired from 1 to 7 impulses/s, and the cells discharged with either a decremental burst pattern or with a regular pattern. The dopamine agonists apomorphine and d-amphetamine, given systemically, decreased the firing rate of these neurons and the dopamine receptor blocker, haloperidol, reversed these effects. The zona compacta neurons were inhibited by the micro-iontophoretic application of dopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid, and systemic haloperidol selectively attenuated the effects of dopamine. In vitro recordings from substantia nigra zona compacta and zona reticulata neurons were generally similar to those found in vivo, both in terms of the electrophysiological and pharmacological properties. However, the zona compacta cells fired faster in vitro than in vivo, and the firing pattern in vitro tended to be pacemaker-like, especially when recordings were made in an incubation medium which blocks synaptic transmission (e.g. low Ca2+/high Mg2+). Our data indicate that: (a) in vivo mouse zona compacta neurons exhibit the same electrophysiological and pharmacological properties as rat dopamine-containing neurons; (b) in vitro mouse dopaminergic neurons fire with pacemaker regularity when in a low Ca2+/high Mg2+ environment; and (c) in vitro studies offer an approach to examine the basic properties of dopaminergic neurons exclusive of feedback pathways and other afferent inputs. PMID:6472621

  3. Dopamine/Tyrosine Hydroxylase Neurons of the Hypothalamic Arcuate Nucleus Release GABA, Communicate with Dopaminergic and Other Arcuate Neurons, and Respond to Dynorphin, Met-Enkephalin, and Oxytocin

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaobing

    2015-01-01

    We employ transgenic mice with selective expression of tdTomato or cre recombinase together with optogenetics to investigate whether hypothalamic arcuate (ARC) dopamine/tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) neurons interact with other ARC neurons, how they respond to hypothalamic neuropeptides, and to test whether these cells constitute a single homogeneous population. Immunostaining with dopamine and TH antisera was used to corroborate targeted transgene expression. Using whole-cell recording on a large number of neurons (n = 483), two types of neurons with different electrophysiological properties were identified in the dorsomedial ARC where 94% of TH neurons contained immunoreactive dopamine: bursting and nonbursting neurons. In contrast to rat, the regular oscillations of mouse bursting neurons depend on a mechanism involving both T-type calcium and A-type potassium channel activation, but are independent of gap junction coupling. Optogenetic stimulation using cre recombinase-dependent ChIEF-AAV-DJ expressed in ARC TH neurons evoked postsynaptic GABA currents in the majority of neighboring dopamine and nondopamine neurons, suggesting for the first time substantial synaptic projections from ARC TH cells to other ARC neurons. Numerous met-enkephalin (mENK) and dynorphin-immunoreactive boutons appeared to contact ARC TH neurons. mENK inhibited both types of TH neuron through G-protein coupled inwardly rectifying potassium currents mediated by δ and μ opioid receptors. Dynorphin-A inhibited both bursting and nonbursting TH neurons by activating κ receptors. Oxytocin excited both bursting and nonbursting neurons. These results reveal a complexity of TH neurons that communicate extensively with neurons within the ARC. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Here, we show that the great majority of mouse hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) neurons that synthesize TH in the dorsomedial ARC also contain immunoreactive dopamine, and show either bursting or nonbursting electrical activity. Unlike

  4. The energy cost of action potential propagation in dopamine neurons: clues to susceptibility in Parkinson's disease

    PubMed Central

    Pissadaki, Eleftheria K.; Bolam, J. Paul

    2013-01-01

    Dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) are uniquely sensitive to degeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD) and its models. Although a variety of molecular characteristics have been proposed to underlie this sensitivity, one possible contributory factor is their massive, unmyelinated axonal arbor that is orders of magnitude larger than other neuronal types. We suggest that this puts them under such a high energy demand that any stressor that perturbs energy production leads to energy demand exceeding supply and subsequent cell death. One prediction of this hypothesis is that those dopamine neurons that are selectively vulnerable in PD will have a higher energy cost than those that are less vulnerable. We show here, through the use of a biology-based computational model of the axons of individual dopamine neurons, that the energy cost of axon potential propagation and recovery of the membrane potential increases with the size and complexity of the axonal arbor according to a power law. Thus SNc dopamine neurons, particularly in humans, whose axons we estimate to give rise to more than 1 million synapses and have a total length exceeding 4 m, are at a distinct disadvantage with respect to energy balance which may be a factor in their selective vulnerability in PD. PMID:23515615

  5. RASGRF2 regulates alcohol-induced reinforcement by influencing mesolimbic dopamine neuron activity and dopamine release

    PubMed Central

    Stacey, David; Bilbao, Ainhoa; Maroteaux, Matthieu; Jia, Tianye; Easton, Alanna C.; Longueville, Sophie; Nymberg, Charlotte; Banaschewski, Tobias; Barker, Gareth J.; Büchel, Christian; Carvalho, Fabiana; Conrod, Patricia J.; Desrivières, Sylvane; Fauth-Bühler, Mira; Fernandez-Medarde, Alberto; Flor, Herta; Gallinat, Jürgen; Garavan, Hugh; Bokde, Arun L. W.; Heinz, Andreas; Ittermann, Bernd; Lathrop, Mark; Lawrence, Claire; Loth, Eva; Lourdusamy, Anbarasu; Mann, Karl F.; Martinot, Jean-Luc; Nees, Frauke; Palkovits, Miklós; Paus, Tomas; Pausova, Zdenka; Rietschel, Marcella; Ruggeri, Barbara; Santos, Eugenio; Smolka, Michael N.; Staehlin, Oliver; Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta; Elliott, Paul; Sommer, Wolfgang H.; Mameli, Manuel; Müller, Christian P.; Spanagel, Rainer; Girault, Jean-Antoine; Schumann, Gunter

    2012-01-01

    The firing of mesolimbic dopamine neurons is important for drug-induced reinforcement, although underlying genetic factors remain poorly understood. In a recent genome-wide association metaanalysis of alcohol intake, we identified a suggestive association of SNP rs26907 in the ras-specific guanine-nucleotide releasing factor 2 (RASGRF2) gene, encoding a protein that mediates Ca2+-dependent activation of the ERK pathway. We performed functional characterization of this gene in relation to alcohol-related phenotypes and mesolimbic dopamine function in both mice and adolescent humans. Ethanol intake and preference were decreased in Rasgrf2−/− mice relative to WT controls. Accordingly, ethanol-induced dopamine release in the ventral striatum was blunted in Rasgrf2−/− mice. Recording of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area revealed reduced excitability in the absence of Ras-GRF2, likely because of lack of inhibition of the IA potassium current by ERK. This deficit provided an explanation for the altered dopamine release, presumably linked to impaired activation of dopamine neurons firing. Functional neuroimaging analysis of a monetary incentive–delay task in 663 adolescent boys revealed significant association of ventral striatal activity during reward anticipation with a RASGRF2 haplotype containing rs26907, the SNP associated with alcohol intake in our previous metaanalysis. This finding suggests a link between the RASGRF2 haplotype and reward sensitivity, a known risk factor for alcohol and drug addiction. Indeed, follow-up of these same boys at age 16 y revealed an association between this haplotype and number of drinking episodes. Together, these combined animal and human data indicate a role for RASGRF2 in the regulation of mesolimbic dopamine neuron activity, reward response, and alcohol use and abuse. PMID:23223532

  6. RASGRF2 regulates alcohol-induced reinforcement by influencing mesolimbic dopamine neuron activity and dopamine release.

    PubMed

    Stacey, David; Bilbao, Ainhoa; Maroteaux, Matthieu; Jia, Tianye; Easton, Alanna C; Longueville, Sophie; Nymberg, Charlotte; Banaschewski, Tobias; Barker, Gareth J; Büchel, Christian; Carvalho, Fabiana; Conrod, Patricia J; Desrivières, Sylvane; Fauth-Bühler, Mira; Fernandez-Medarde, Alberto; Flor, Herta; Gallinat, Jürgen; Garavan, Hugh; Bokde, Arun L W; Heinz, Andreas; Ittermann, Bernd; Lathrop, Mark; Lawrence, Claire; Loth, Eva; Lourdusamy, Anbarasu; Mann, Karl F; Martinot, Jean-Luc; Nees, Frauke; Palkovits, Miklós; Paus, Tomas; Pausova, Zdenka; Rietschel, Marcella; Ruggeri, Barbara; Santos, Eugenio; Smolka, Michael N; Staehlin, Oliver; Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta; Elliott, Paul; Sommer, Wolfgang H; Mameli, Manuel; Müller, Christian P; Spanagel, Rainer; Girault, Jean-Antoine; Schumann, Gunter

    2012-12-18

    The firing of mesolimbic dopamine neurons is important for drug-induced reinforcement, although underlying genetic factors remain poorly understood. In a recent genome-wide association metaanalysis of alcohol intake, we identified a suggestive association of SNP rs26907 in the ras-specific guanine-nucleotide releasing factor 2 (RASGRF2) gene, encoding a protein that mediates Ca(2+)-dependent activation of the ERK pathway. We performed functional characterization of this gene in relation to alcohol-related phenotypes and mesolimbic dopamine function in both mice and adolescent humans. Ethanol intake and preference were decreased in Rasgrf2(-/-) mice relative to WT controls. Accordingly, ethanol-induced dopamine release in the ventral striatum was blunted in Rasgrf2(-/-) mice. Recording of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area revealed reduced excitability in the absence of Ras-GRF2, likely because of lack of inhibition of the I(A) potassium current by ERK. This deficit provided an explanation for the altered dopamine release, presumably linked to impaired activation of dopamine neurons firing. Functional neuroimaging analysis of a monetary incentive-delay task in 663 adolescent boys revealed significant association of ventral striatal activity during reward anticipation with a RASGRF2 haplotype containing rs26907, the SNP associated with alcohol intake in our previous metaanalysis. This finding suggests a link between the RASGRF2 haplotype and reward sensitivity, a known risk factor for alcohol and drug addiction. Indeed, follow-up of these same boys at age 16 y revealed an association between this haplotype and number of drinking episodes. Together, these combined animal and human data indicate a role for RASGRF2 in the regulation of mesolimbic dopamine neuron activity, reward response, and alcohol use and abuse. PMID:23223532

  7. A microfluidic method for dopamine uptake measurements in dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yue; Shamsi, Mohtashim H; Krastev, Dimitar L; Dryden, Michael D M; Leung, Yen; Wheeler, Aaron R

    2016-02-01

    Dopamine (DA) is a classical neurotransmitter and dysfunction in its synaptic handling underlies many neurological disorders, including addiction, depression, and neurodegeneration. A key to understanding DA dysfunction is the accurate measurement of dopamine uptake by dopaminergic neurons. Current methods that allow for the analysis of dopamine uptake rely on standard multiwell-plate based ELISA, or on carbon-fibre microelectrodes used in in vivo recording techniques. The former suffers from challenges associated with automation and analyte degradation, while the latter has low throughput and is not ideal for laboratory screening. In response to these challenges, we introduce a digital microfluidic platform to evaluate dopamine homeostasis in in vitro neuron culture. The method features voltammetric dopamine sensors with limit of detection of 30 nM integrated with cell culture sites for multi-day neuron culture and differentiation. We demonstrate the utility of the new technique for DA uptake assays featuring in-line culture and analysis, with a determination of uptake of approximately ∼32 fmol in 10 min per virtual microwell (each containing ∼200 differentiated SH-SY5Y cells). We propose that future generations of this technique will be useful for drug discovery for neurodegenerative disease as well as for a wide range of applications that would benefit from integrated cell culture and electroanalysis. PMID:26725686

  8. The lateral mesopontine tegmentum regulates both tonic and phasic activity of VTA dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Li

    2013-01-01

    Anatomic studies have demonstrated that the mesolimbic dopamine system receives a substantial afferent input from a variety of regions ranging from the prefrontal cortex through to the brain stem. However, how these afferents regulate dopamine neuron activity is still largely unknown. The mesopontine tegmentum provides a significant input to ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons, and it has been demonstrated that discrete subdivisions within this region differentially alter dopamine neuron activity. Thus the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus provides a tonic input essential for maintaining burst firing of dopamine neurons, whereas the pedunculopontine tegmental (PPTg) nucleus regulates a transition from single-spike firing to burst firing. In contrast, the recently identified rostromedial tegmental nucleus provides an inhibitory input to the VTA and decreases spontaneous dopamine neuron activity. Here, we demonstrate that an area adjacent to the PPTg regulates both population activity as well as burst firing of VTA dopamine neurons. Specifically, N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) activation of the lateral mesopontine tegmentum produces an increase in the number of spontaneously active dopamine neurons and an increase in the average percentage of burst firing of dopamine neurons. This increase in neuronal activity was correlated with extracellular dopamine efflux in the nucleus accumbens, as measured by in vivo microdialysis. Taken together, we provide further evidence that the mesopontine tegmentum regulates discrete dopamine neuron activity states that are relevant for the understanding of dopamine system function in both normal and disease states. PMID:24004527

  9. Phasic Dopamine Modifies Sensory-Driven Output of Striatal Neurons through Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Wieland, Sebastian; Schindler, Sebastian; Huber, Cathrin; Köhr, Georg; Oswald, Manfred J; Kelsch, Wolfgang

    2015-07-01

    Animals are facing a complex sensory world in which only few stimuli are relevant to guide behavior. Value has to be assigned to relevant stimuli such as odors to select them over concurring information. Phasic dopamine is involved in the value assignment to stimuli in the ventral striatum. The underlying cellular mechanisms are incompletely understood. In striatal projection neurons of the ventral striatum in adult mice, we therefore examined the features and dynamics of phasic dopamine-induced synaptic plasticity and how this plasticity may modify the striatal output. Phasic dopamine is predicted to tag inputs that occur in temporal proximity. Indeed, we observed D1 receptor-dependent synaptic potentiation only when odor-like bursts and optogenetically evoked phasic dopamine release were paired within a time window of <1 s. Compatible with predictions of dynamic value assignment, the synaptic potentiation persisted after the phasic dopamine signal had ceased, but gradually reversed when odor-like bursts continued to be presented. The synaptic plasticity depended on the sensory input rate and was input specific. Importantly, synaptic plasticity amplified the firing response to a given olfactory input as the dendritic integration and the firing threshold remained unchanged during synaptic potentiation. Thus, phasic dopamine-induced synaptic plasticity can change information transfer through dynamic increases of the output of striatal projection neurons to specific sensory inputs. This plasticity may provide a neural substrate for dynamic value assignment in the striatum. PMID:26156995

  10. Metformin Prevents Nigrostriatal Dopamine Degeneration Independent of AMPK Activation in Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Bayliss, Jacqueline A.; Lemus, Moyra B.; Santos, Vanessa V.; Deo, Minh; Davies, Jeffrey S.; Kemp, Bruce E.; Elsworth, John D.

    2016-01-01

    Metformin is a widely prescribed drug used to treat type-2 diabetes, although recent studies show it has wide ranging effects to treat other diseases. Animal and retrospective human studies indicate that Metformin treatment is neuroprotective in Parkinson’s Disease (PD), although the neuroprotective mechanism is unknown, numerous studies suggest the beneficial effects on glucose homeostasis may be through AMPK activation. In this study we tested whether or not AMPK activation in dopamine neurons was required for the neuroprotective effects of Metformin in PD. We generated transgenic mice in which AMPK activity in dopamine neurons was ablated by removing AMPK beta 1 and beta 2 subunits from dopamine transporter expressing neurons. These AMPK WT and KO mice were then chronically exposed to Metformin in the drinking water then exposed to MPTP, the mouse model of PD. Chronic Metformin treatment significantly attenuated the MPTP-induced loss of Tyrosine Hydroxylase (TH) neuronal number and volume and TH protein concentration in the nigrostriatal pathway. Additionally, Metformin treatment prevented the MPTP-induced elevation of the DOPAC:DA ratio regardless of genotype. Metformin also prevented MPTP induced gliosis in the Substantia Nigra. These neuroprotective actions were independent of genotype and occurred in both AMPK WT and AMPK KO mice. Overall, our studies suggest that Metformin’s neuroprotective effects are not due to AMPK activation in dopaminergic neurons and that more research is required to determine how metformin acts to restrict the development of PD. PMID:27467571

  11. Phasic dopamine neuron activity elicits unique mesofrontal plasticity in adolescence.

    PubMed

    Mastwal, Surjeet; Ye, Yizhou; Ren, Ming; Jimenez, Dennisse V; Martinowich, Keri; Gerfen, Charles R; Wang, Kuan Hong

    2014-07-16

    The mesofrontal dopaminergic circuit, which connects the midbrain motivation center to the cortical executive center, is engaged in control of motivated behaviors. In addition, deficiencies in this circuit are associated with adolescent-onset psychiatric disorders in humans. Developmental studies suggest that the mesofrontal circuit exhibits a protracted maturation through adolescence. However, whether the structure and function of this circuit are modifiable by activity in dopaminergic neurons during adolescence remains unknown. Using optogenetic stimulation and in vivo two-photon imaging in adolescent mice, we found that phasic, but not tonic, dopamine neuron activity induces the formation of mesofrontal axonal boutons. In contrast, in adult mice, the effect of phasic activity diminishes. Furthermore, our results showed that dopaminergic and glutamatergic transmission regulate this axonal plasticity in adolescence and inhibition of dopamine D2-type receptors restores this plasticity in adulthood. Finally, we found that phasic activation of dopamine neurons also induces greater changes in mesofrontal circuit activity and psychomotor response in adolescent mice than in adult mice. Together, our findings demonstrate that the structure and function of the mesofrontal circuit are modifiable by phasic activity in dopaminergic neurons during adolescence and suggest that the greater plasticity in adolescence may facilitate activity-dependent strengthening of dopaminergic input and improvement in behavioral control. PMID:25031392

  12. A Pair of Dopamine Neurons Target the D1-Like Dopamine Receptor DopR in the Central Complex to Promote Ethanol-Stimulated Locomotion in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Eric C.; Woo, Katherine; Li, Haiyan; Lebestky, Tim; Mayer, Nasima; Sniffen, Melissa R.; Heberlein, Ulrike; Bainton, Roland J.; Hirsh, Jay; Wolf, Fred W.

    2010-01-01

    Dopamine is a mediator of the stimulant properties of drugs of abuse, including ethanol, in mammals and in the fruit fly Drosophila. The neural substrates for the stimulant actions of ethanol in flies are not known. We show that a subset of dopamine neurons and their targets, through the action of the D1-like dopamine receptor DopR, promote locomotor activation in response to acute ethanol exposure. A bilateral pair of dopaminergic neurons in the fly brain mediates the enhanced locomotor activity induced by ethanol exposure, and promotes locomotion when directly activated. These neurons project to the central complex ellipsoid body, a structure implicated in regulating motor behaviors. Ellipsoid body neurons are required for ethanol-induced locomotor activity and they express DopR. Elimination of DopR blunts the locomotor activating effects of ethanol, and this behavior can be restored by selective expression of DopR in the ellipsoid body. These data tie the activity of defined dopamine neurons to D1-like DopR-expressing neurons to form a neural circuit that governs acute responding to ethanol. PMID:20376353

  13. Dopamine receptor gene expression by enkephalin neurons in rat forebrain

    SciTech Connect

    Le Moine, C.; Normand, E.; Guitteny, A.F.; Fouque, B.; Teoule, R.; Bloch, B. )

    1990-01-01

    In situ hybridization experiments were performed with brain sections from normal, control and haloperidol-treated rats to identify and map the cells expressing the D2 dopamine receptor gene. D2 receptor mRNA was detected with radioactive or biotinylated oligonucleotide probes. D2 receptor mRNA was present in glandular cells of the pituitary intermediate lobe and in neurons of the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, and forebrain, especially in caudate putamen, nucleus accumbens, olfactory tubercle, and piriform cortex. Hybridization with D2 and preproenkephalin A probes in adjacent sections, as well as combined hybridization with the two probes in the same sections, demonstrated that all detectable enkephalin neurons in the striatum contained the D2 receptor mRNA. Large neurons in caudate putamen, which were unlabeled with the preproenkephalin A probe and which may have been cholinergic, also expressed the D2 receptor gene. Haloperidol treatment (14 or 21 days) provoked an increase in mRNA content for D2 receptor and preproenkephalin A in the striatum. This suggests that the increase in D2 receptor number observed after haloperidol treatment is due to increased activity of the D2 gene. These results indicate that in the striatum, the enkephalin neurons are direct targets for dopamine liberated from mesostriatal neurons.

  14. Bitropic D3 Dopamine Receptor Selective Compounds s Potential Antipsychotics.

    PubMed

    Luedtke, Robert R; Rangel-Barajas, Claudia; Malik, Mahinder; Reichert, David E; Mach, R H

    2015-01-01

    Neuropsychiatric disorders represent a substantial social and health care issue. The National Institutes of Health estimates that greater than 2 million adults suffer from neuropsychiatric disorders in the USA. These individuals experience symptoms that can include auditory hallucinations, delusions, unrealistic beliefs and cognitive dysfunction. Although antipsychotic medications are available, suboptimal therapeutic responses are observed for approximately one-third of patients. Therefore, there is still a need to explore new pharmacotherapeutic strategies for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. Many of the medications that are used clinically to treat neuropsychiatric disorders have a pharmacological profile that includes being an antagonist at D2-like (D2, D3 and D4) dopamine receptor subtypes. However, dopamine receptor subtypes are involved in a variety of neuronal circuits that include movement coordination, cognition, emotion, affect, memory and the regulation of prolactin. Consequently, antagonism at D2-like receptors can also contribute to some of the adverse side effects associated with the long-term use of antipsychotics including the a) adverse extrapyramidal symptoms associated with the use of typical antipsychotics and b) metabolic side effects (weight gain, hyperglycemia, increased risk of diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia and gynecomastia) associated with atypical antipsychotic use. Preclinical studies suggest that D3 versus D2 dopamine receptor selective compounds might represent an alternative strategy for the treatment of the symptoms of schizophrenia. In this review we discuss a) how bitropic Nphenylpiperazine D3 dopamine receptor selective compounds have been developed by modification of the primary (orthosteric) and secondary (allosteric or modulatory) pharmacophores to optimize D3 receptor affinity and D2/D3 binding selectivity ratios and b) the functional selectivity of these compounds. Examples of how these compounds might be

  15. Functional Connectome Analysis of Dopamine Neuron Glutamatergic Connections in Forebrain Regions

    PubMed Central

    Mingote, Susana; Chuhma, Nao; Kusnoor, Sheila V.; Field, Bianca; Deutch, Ariel Y.

    2015-01-01

    In the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a subpopulation of dopamine neurons express vesicular glutamate transporter 2 and make glutamatergic connections to nucleus accumbens (NAc) and olfactory tubercle (OT) neurons. However, their glutamatergic connections across the forebrain have not been explored systematically. To visualize dopamine neuron forebrain projections and to enable photostimulation of their axons independent of transmitter status, we virally transfected VTA neurons with channelrhodopsin-2 fused to enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (ChR2-EYFP) and used DATIREScre mice to restrict expression to dopamine neurons. ChR2-EYFP-expressing neurons almost invariably stained for tyrosine hydroxylase, identifying them as dopaminergic. Dopamine neuron axons visualized by ChR2-EYFP fluorescence projected most densely to the striatum, moderately to the amygdala and entorhinal cortex (ERC), sparsely to prefrontal and cingulate cortices, and rarely to the hippocampus. Guided by ChR2-EYFP fluorescence, we recorded systematically from putative principal neurons in target areas and determined the incidence and strength of glutamatergic connections by activating all dopamine neuron terminals impinging on recorded neurons with wide-field photostimulation. This revealed strong glutamatergic connections in the NAc, OT, and ERC; moderate strength connections in the central amygdala; and weak connections in the cingulate cortex. No glutamatergic connections were found in the dorsal striatum, hippocampus, basolateral amygdala, or prefrontal cortex. These results indicate that VTA dopamine neurons elicit widespread, but regionally distinct, glutamatergic signals in the forebrain and begin to define the dopamine neuron excitatory functional connectome. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Dopamine neurons are important for the control of motivated behavior and are involved in the pathophysiology of several major neuropsychiatric disorders. Recent studies have shown that some ventral midbrain

  16. Endocannabinoid Signaling in Midbrain Dopamine Neurons: More than Physiology?

    PubMed Central

    Melis, M; Pistis, P

    2007-01-01

    Different classes of neurons in the CNS utilize endogenous cannabinoids as retrograde messengers to shape afferent activity in a short- and long-lasting fashion. Transient suppression of excitation and inhibition as well as long-term depression or potentiation in many brain regions require endocannabinoids to be released by the postsynaptic neurons and activate presynaptic CB1 receptors. Memory consolidation and/or extinction and habit forming have been suggested as the potential behavioral consequences of endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic modulation. However, endocannabinoids have a dual role: beyond a physiological modulation of synaptic functions, they have been demonstrated to participate in the mechanisms of neuronal protection under circumstances involving excessive excitatory drive, glutamate excitotoxicity, hypoxia-ischemia, which are key features of several neurodegenerative disorders. In this framework, the recent discovery that the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol is released by midbrain dopaminergic neurons, under both physiological synaptic activity to modulate afferent inputs and pathological conditions such as ischemia, is particularly interesting for the possible implication of these molecules in brain functions and dysfunctions. Since dopamine dysfunctions underlie diverse neuropsychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, psychoses, and drug addiction, the importance of better understanding the correlation between an unbalanced endocannabinoid signal and the dopamine system is even greater. Additionally, we will review the evidence of the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease, where neuroprotective actions of cannabinoid-acting compounds may prove beneficial. The modulation of the endocannabinoid system by pharmacological agents is a valuable target in protection of dopamine neurons against functional abnormalities as well as against their neurodegeneration. PMID:19305743

  17. D1 dopamine receptor signaling is modulated by the R7 RGS protein EAT-16 and the R7 binding protein RSBP-1 in Caenoerhabditis elegans motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Wani, Khursheed A; Catanese, Mary; Normantowicz, Robyn; Herd, Muriel; Maher, Kathryn N; Chase, Daniel L

    2012-01-01

    Dopamine signaling modulates voluntary movement and reward-driven behaviors by acting through G protein-coupled receptors in striatal neurons, and defects in dopamine signaling underlie Parkinson's disease and drug addiction. Despite the importance of understanding how dopamine modifies the activity of striatal neurons to control basal ganglia output, the molecular mechanisms that control dopamine signaling remain largely unclear. Dopamine signaling also controls locomotion behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans. To better understand how dopamine acts in the brain we performed a large-scale dsRNA interference screen in C. elegans for genes required for endogenous dopamine signaling and identified six genes (eat-16, rsbp-1, unc-43, flp-1, grk-1, and cat-1) required for dopamine-mediated behavior. We then used a combination of mutant analysis and cell-specific transgenic rescue experiments to investigate the functional interaction between the proteins encoded by two of these genes, eat-16 and rsbp-1, within single cell types and to examine their role in the modulation of dopamine receptor signaling. We found that EAT-16 and RSBP-1 act together to modulate dopamine signaling and that while they are coexpressed with both D1-like and D2-like dopamine receptors, they do not modulate D2 receptor signaling. Instead, EAT-16 and RSBP-1 act together to selectively inhibit D1 dopamine receptor signaling in cholinergic motor neurons to modulate locomotion behavior. PMID:22629462

  18. Dopamine D3 receptor-preferring agonists induce neurotrophic effects on mesencephalic dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Du, Fang; Li, Rui; Huang, Yuangui; Li, Xuping; Le, Weidong

    2005-11-01

    Anti-parkinsonian agents, pramipexole (PPX) and ropinirole (ROP), have been reported to possess neuroprotective properties, both in vitro and in vivo. The mechanisms underlying neuroprotection afforded by the D3-preferring receptor agonists remain poorly understood. The present study demonstrates that incubation of primary mesencephalic cultures with PPX and ROP or the conditioned medium from PPX- or ROP-treated primary cultures induced a marked increase in the number of dopamine (DA) neurons in the cultures. Similar effects can be observed after incubating with the conditioned medium derived from PPX- and ROP-treated substantia nigra astroglia. Meanwhile, PPX and ROP can protect the primary cells from insult of 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+), the active metabolite of the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,5,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Furthermore, the neurotrophic effects of PPX and ROP on mesencephalic dopamine neurons could be significantly blocked by D3 receptor antagonist, but not by D2 receptor antagonist. Moreover, we found that the levels of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the conditioned medium of mesencephalic cultures treated with PPX and ROP were significantly increased. Blocking GDNF and BDNF with the neutralizing antibodies, the neurotrophic effects of PPX and ROP were greatly diminished. These results suggest that D3 dopamine receptor-preferring agonists, PPX and ROP, exert neurotrophic effects on cultured DA neurons by modulating the production of endogenous GDNF and BDNF, which may participate in their neuroprotection. PMID:16307585

  19. FolR1: a novel cell surface marker for isolating midbrain dopamine neural progenitors and nascent dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Gennet, Nicole; Tamburini, Claudia; Nan, Xinsheng; Li, Meng

    2016-01-01

    Cell type-specific surface markers offer a powerful tool for purifying defined cell types for restorative therapies and drug screenings. Midbrain dopaminergic neurons (mesDA) are the nerve cells preferentially lost in the brains of Parkinson's disease patients. Clinical trials of transplantation of fetal neural precursors suggest that cell therapy may offer a cure for this devastating neurological disease. Many lines of preclinical studies demonstrate that neural progenitors committed to dopaminergic fate survive and integrate better than postmitotic DA neurons. We show that the folate-receptor 1 (FolR1), a GPI-anchored cell surface molecule, specifically marks mesDA neural progenitors and immature mesDA neurons. FolR1 expression superimposes with Lmx1a, a bona-fide mesDA lineage marker, during the active phase of mesDA neurogenesis from E9.5 to E14.5 during mouse development, as well as in ESC-derived mesDA lineage. FolR1(+) neural progenitors can be isolated by FACS or magnetic sorting (MAC) which give rise to dopamine neurons expressing TH and Pitx3, whilst FolR1 negative cells generate non-dopaminergic neurons and glia cells. This study identifies FolR1 as a new cell surface marker selectively expressed in mesDA progenitors in vivo and in vitro and that can be used to enrich in vitro differentiated TH neurons. PMID:27580818

  20. FolR1: a novel cell surface marker for isolating midbrain dopamine neural progenitors and nascent dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Gennet, Nicole; Tamburini, Claudia; Nan, Xinsheng; Li, Meng

    2016-01-01

    Cell type-specific surface markers offer a powerful tool for purifying defined cell types for restorative therapies and drug screenings. Midbrain dopaminergic neurons (mesDA) are the nerve cells preferentially lost in the brains of Parkinson’s disease patients. Clinical trials of transplantation of fetal neural precursors suggest that cell therapy may offer a cure for this devastating neurological disease. Many lines of preclinical studies demonstrate that neural progenitors committed to dopaminergic fate survive and integrate better than postmitotic DA neurons. We show that the folate-receptor 1 (FolR1), a GPI-anchored cell surface molecule, specifically marks mesDA neural progenitors and immature mesDA neurons. FolR1 expression superimposes with Lmx1a, a bona-fide mesDA lineage marker, during the active phase of mesDA neurogenesis from E9.5 to E14.5 during mouse development, as well as in ESC-derived mesDA lineage. FolR1+ neural progenitors can be isolated by FACS or magnetic sorting (MAC) which give rise to dopamine neurons expressing TH and Pitx3, whilst FolR1 negative cells generate non-dopaminergic neurons and glia cells. This study identifies FolR1 as a new cell surface marker selectively expressed in mesDA progenitors in vivo and in vitro and that can be used to enrich in vitro differentiated TH neurons. PMID:27580818

  1. Hyperexcitable substantia nigra dopamine neurons in PINK1- and HtrA2/Omi-deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Bishop, Matthew W; Chakraborty, Subhojit; Matthews, Gillian A C; Dougalis, Antonios; Wood, Nicholas W; Festenstein, Richard; Ungless, Mark A

    2010-12-01

    The electrophysiological properties of substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC) dopamine neurons can influence their susceptibility to degeneration in toxin-based models of Parkinson's disease (PD), suggesting that excitotoxic and/or hypoactive mechanisms may be engaged during the early stages of the disease. It is unclear, however, whether the electrophysiological properties of SNC dopamine neurons are affected by genetic susceptibility to PD. Here we show that deletion of PD-associated genes, PINK1 or HtrA2/Omi, leads to a functional reduction in the activity of small-conductance Ca(2+)-activated potassium channels. This reduction causes SNC dopamine neurons to fire action potentials in an irregular pattern and enhances burst firing in brain slices and in vivo. In contrast, PINK1 deletion does not affect firing regularity in ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons or substantia nigra pars reticulata GABAergic neurons. These findings suggest that changes in SNC dopamine neuron excitability may play a role in their selective vulnerability in PD. PMID:20926611

  2. Impact of grafted serotonin and dopamine neurons on development of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias in parkinsonian rats is determined by the extent of dopamine neuron degeneration.

    PubMed

    Carlsson, Thomas; Carta, Manolo; Muñoz, Ana; Mattsson, Bengt; Winkler, Christian; Kirik, Deniz; Björklund, Anders

    2009-02-01

    Previous studies have shown that serotonin neurons play an important role in the induction and maintenance of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in animals with lesion of the nigrostriatal dopamine system. Patients with Parkinson's disease that receive transplants of foetal ventral mesencephalic tissue, the graft cell preparation is likely to contain, in addition to dopamine neurons, serotonin neurons that will vary in number depending on the landmarks used for dissection. Here, we have studied the impact of grafted serotonin neurons--alone or mixed with dopamine neurons--on the development of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in rats with a partial 6-hydroxydopamine lesion of the host nigrostriatal projection. In these rats, which showed only low-level dyskinesia at the time of transplantation, serotonin grafts induced a worsening in the severity of dyskinesia that developed during continued L-DOPA treatment, while the dopamine-rich graft had the opposite, dampening effect. The detrimental effect seen in animals with serotonin neuron grafts was dramatically increased when the residual dopamine innervation in the striatum was removed by a second 6-hydroxydopamine lesion. Interestingly, rats with grafts that contained a mixture of dopamine and serotonin neurons (in approximately 2:1) showed a marked reduction in L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia over time, and the appearance of severe dyskinesia induced by the removal of the residual dopamine innervation, seen in the animals with transplants of serotonin neurons alone, was blocked. FosB expression in the striatal projection neurons, which is associated with dyskinesias, was also normalized by the dopamine-rich grafts, but not by the serotonin neuron grafts. These data indicate that as long as a sufficient portion, some 10-20%, of the dopamine innervation still remains, the increased host serotonin innervation generated by the grafted serotonin neurons will have limited effect on the development or severity of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias. At

  3. Phasic excitation of ventral tegmental dopamine neurons potentiates the initiation of conditioned approach behavior: parametric and reinforcement-schedule analyses

    PubMed Central

    Ilango, Anton; Kesner, Andrew J.; Broker, Carl J.; Wang, Dong V.; Ikemoto, Satoshi

    2014-01-01

    Midbrain dopamine neurons are implicated in motivation and learning. However, it is unclear how phasic excitation of dopamine neurons, which is implicated in learning, is involved in motivation. Here we used a self-stimulation procedure to examine how mice seek for optogenetically-induced phasic excitation of dopamine neurons, with an emphasis on the temporal dimension. TH-Cre transgenic mice received adeno-associated viral vectors encoding channelrhodopsin-2 into the ventral tegmental area, resulting in selective expression of the opsin in dopamine neurons. These mice were trained to press on a lever for photo-pulse trains that phasically excited dopamine neurons. They learned to self-stimulate in a fast, constant manner, and rapidly reduced pressing during extinction. We first determined effective parameters of photo-pulse trains in self-stimulation. Lever-press rates changed as a function of the manipulation of pulse number, duration, intensity, and frequency. We then examined effects of interval and ratio schedules of reinforcement on photo-pulse train reinforcement, which was contrasted with food reinforcement. Reinforcement with food inhibited lever pressing for a few seconds, after which pressing was robustly regulated in a goal-directed manner. In contrast, phasic excitation of dopamine neurons robustly potentiated the initiation of lever pressing; however, this effect did not last more than 1 s and quickly diminished. Indeed, response rates markedly decreased when lever pressing was reinforced with inter-reinforcement interval schedules of 3 or 10 s or ratio schedules requiring multiple responses per reinforcement. Thus, phasic excitation of dopamine neurons briefly potentiates the initiation of approach behavior with apparent lack of long-term motivational regulation. PMID:24834037

  4. Age and Region-Specific Responses of Microglia, but not Astrocytes, Suggest a Role in Selective Vulnerability of Dopamine Neurons After 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine Exposure in Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    KANAAN, NICHOLAS M.; KORDOWER, JEFFREY H.; COLLIER, TIMOTHY J.

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about the effects of aging, the strongest risk factor for Parkinson’s disease (PD), on glial responses to dopamine (DA) neuron degeneration in midbrain subregions that display selective vulnerability to degeneration. We evaluated the impact of aging on astrocytes and microglia in a regionally specific manner in a monkey model of PD. 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) was delivered unilaterally via the internal carotid artery of young, middle-aged, and old-aged rhesus monkeys. Astrocytes and microglia were identified using glial fibrillary acidic protein and human leukocyte antigen-DR (HLA-DR) immunolabeling, respectively. Glial reactivity was assessed using (1) stereological cell counting, (2) fluorescence intensity, and (3) a morphology rating scale. In the midbrain contralateral and ipsilateral to the MPTP injection, astrocyte number and intensity did not change with age. In both sides of the midbrain, cellular morphology suggested astrocyte hypertrophy in middle-age dissipated in old-age, irrespective of DA subregion and regional differences in vulnerability to degeneration. In the contralateral midbrain, microglia became mildly activated (increased cell number and intensity, and morphological changes) with advancing age. Inflammation was evident at 3 months postlesion by severe microglial activation in the ipsilateral midbrain. HLA-DR fluorescence intensity and an abundance of activated microglia (based on morphological criteria) were consistently exacerbated in the vtSN of both sides of the midbrain. These results suggest the glial responses accompanying aging and DA neuron degeneration following a toxic insult represent persistent alterations in the microenvironment of surviving DA neurons that are important factors in understanding regional differences in susceptibility to degeneration. PMID:18484101

  5. The role of D2-autoreceptors in regulating dopamine neuron activity and transmission.

    PubMed

    Ford, C P

    2014-12-12

    Dopamine D2-autoreceptors play a key role in regulating the activity of dopamine neurons and control the synthesis, release and uptake of dopamine. These Gi/o-coupled inhibitory receptors play a major part in shaping dopamine transmission. Found at both somatodendritic and axonal sites, autoreceptors regulate the firing patterns of dopamine neurons and control the timing and amount of dopamine released from their terminals in target regions. Alterations in the expression and activity of autoreceptors are thought to contribute to Parkinson's disease as well as schizophrenia, drug addiction and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which emphasizes the importance of D2-autoreceptors in regulating the dopamine system. This review will summarize the cellular actions of dopamine autoreceptors and discuss recent advances that have furthered our understanding of the mechanisms by which D2-receptors control dopamine transmission. PMID:24463000

  6. Dopamine neurons encode errors in predicting movement trigger occurrence.

    PubMed

    Pasquereau, Benjamin; Turner, Robert S

    2015-02-15

    The capacity to anticipate the timing of events in a dynamic environment allows us to optimize the processes necessary for perceiving, attending to, and responding to them. Such anticipation requires neuronal mechanisms that track the passage of time and use this representation, combined with prior experience, to estimate the likelihood that an event will occur (i.e., the event's "hazard rate"). Although hazard-like ramps in activity have been observed in several cortical areas in preparation for movement, it remains unclear how such time-dependent probabilities are estimated to optimize response performance. We studied the spiking activity of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta of monkeys during an arm-reaching task for which the foreperiod preceding the "go" signal varied randomly along a uniform distribution. After extended training, the monkeys' reaction times correlated inversely with foreperiod duration, reflecting a progressive anticipation of the go signal according to its hazard rate. Many dopamine neurons modulated their firing rates as predicted by a succession of hazard-related prediction errors. First, as time passed during the foreperiod, slowly decreasing anticipatory activity tracked the elapsed time as if encoding negative prediction errors. Then, when the go signal appeared, a phasic response encoded the temporal unpredictability of the event, consistent with a positive prediction error. Neither the anticipatory nor the phasic signals were affected by the anticipated magnitudes of future reward or effort, or by parameters of the subsequent movement. These results are consistent with the notion that dopamine neurons encode hazard-related prediction errors independently of other information. PMID:25411459

  7. Expression of transgenes in midbrain dopamine neurons using the tyrosine hydroxylase promoter

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Myung Sook; Hong, Seok Jong; Huh, Youngbuhm; Kim, Kwang-Soo

    2009-01-01

    Billions of neurons are interconnected in the central nervous system (CNS). Identification of specific neuronal circuit is indispensable for understanding the relationship between structure and function in the CNS. The midbrain dopamine (DA) neuron system consists of the retrorubral area (A8), the substantia nigra (SN; A9), and the ventral tegmental area (VTA; A10). We hypothesized that genetic methods using cell-type specific promoters may offer the possibility to express tracer molecules in DA neurons to facilitate neuronal tracing. To address this, we used the 2.5 kb rat tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) promoter in adenovirus or adeno-associated virus (AAV) to express tracers specifically in DA neurons. We found that stereotaxic injection of TH promoter containing adenoviral construct resulted in cell type-specific transgene expression in the noradrenaline (NA) neurons of the locus coeruleus (LC). However, it caused a significant toxicity to DA neurons in the SN. In contrast, stereotaxic injection of TH promoter containing AAV to the SN resulted in cell type-specific transgene expression in DA neurons with no detectable toxicity. Taken together, our results demonstrate that it is possible to selectively trace DA neuronal circuits in rodent brains using the TH promoter in the context of AAV. PMID:18800154

  8. The Transfection of BDNF to Dopamine Neurons Potentiates the Effect of Dopamine D3 Receptor Agonist Recovering the Striatal Innervation, Dendritic Spines and Motor Behavior in an Aged Rat Model of Parkinson’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Razgado-Hernandez, Luis F.; Espadas-Alvarez, Armando J.; Reyna-Velazquez, Patricia; Sierra-Sanchez, Arturo; Anaya-Martinez, Veronica; Jimenez-Estrada, Ismael; Bannon, Michael J.; Martinez-Fong, Daniel; Aceves-Ruiz, Jorge

    2015-01-01

    The progressive degeneration of the dopamine neurons of the pars compacta of substantia nigra and the consequent loss of the dopamine innervation of the striatum leads to the impairment of motor behavior in Parkinson’s disease. Accordingly, an efficient therapy of the disease should protect and regenerate the dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra and the dopamine innervation of the striatum. Nigral neurons express Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF) and dopamine D3 receptors, both of which protect the dopamine neurons. The chronic activation of dopamine D3 receptors by their agonists, in addition, restores, in part, the dopamine innervation of the striatum. Here we explored whether the over-expression of BDNF by dopamine neurons potentiates the effect of the activation of D3 receptors restoring nigrostriatal innervation. Twelve-month old Wistar rats were unilaterally injected with 6-hydroxydopamine into the striatum. Five months later, rats were treated with the D3 agonist 7-hydroxy-N,N-di-n-propy1-2-aminotetralin (7-OH-DPAT) administered i.p. during 4½ months via osmotic pumps and the BDNF gene transfection into nigral cells using the neurotensin-polyplex nanovector (a non-viral transfection) that selectively transfect the dopamine neurons via the high-affinity neurotensin receptor expressed by these neurons. Two months after the withdrawal of 7-OH-DPAT when rats were aged (24 months old), immunohistochemistry assays were made. The over-expression of BDNF in rats receiving the D3 agonist normalized gait and motor coordination; in addition, it eliminated the muscle rigidity produced by the loss of dopamine. The recovery of motor behavior was associated with the recovery of the nigral neurons, the dopamine innervation of the striatum and of the number of dendritic spines of the striatal neurons. Thus, the over-expression of BDNF in dopamine neurons associated with the chronic activation of the D3 receptors appears to be a promising strategy for restoring

  9. Ghrelin modulates the activity and synaptic input organization of midbrain dopamine neurons while promoting appetite

    PubMed Central

    Abizaid, Alfonso; Liu, Zhong-Wu; Andrews, Zane B.; Shanabrough, Marya; Borok, Erzsebet; Elsworth, John D.; Roth, Robert H.; Sleeman, Mark W.; Picciotto, Marina R.; Tschöp, Matthias H.; Gao, Xiao-Bing; Horvath, Tamas L.

    2006-01-01

    The gut hormone ghrelin targets the brain to promote food intake and adiposity. The ghrelin receptor growth hormone secretagogue 1 receptor (GHSR) is present in hypothalamic centers controlling energy metabolism as well as in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a region important for motivational aspects of multiple behaviors, including feeding. Here we show that in mice and rats, ghrelin bound to neurons of the VTA, where it triggered increased dopamine neuronal activity, synapse formation, and dopamine turnover in the nucleus accumbens in a GHSR-dependent manner. Direct VTA administration of ghrelin also triggered feeding, while intra-VTA delivery of a selective GHSR antagonist blocked the orexigenic effect of circulating ghrelin and blunted rebound feeding following fasting. In addition, ghrelin- and GHSR-deficient mice showed attenuated feeding responses to restricted feeding schedules. Taken together, these data suggest that the mesolimbic reward circuitry is targeted by peripheral ghrelin to influence physiological mechanisms related to feeding. PMID:17060947

  10. Melanocortin 3 Receptor Signaling in Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Increases the Motivation for Food Reward.

    PubMed

    Pandit, Rahul; Omrani, Azar; Luijendijk, Mieneke C M; de Vrind, Véronne A J; Van Rozen, Andrea J; Ophuis, Ralph J A Oude; Garner, Keith; Kallo, Imre; Ghanem, Alexander; Liposits, Zsolt; Conzelmann, Karl-Klaus; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J; la Fleur, Susanne E; Adan, Roger A H

    2016-08-01

    The central melanocortin (MC) system mediates its effects on food intake via MC3 (MC3R) and MC4 receptors (MC4R). Although the role of MC4R in meal size determination, satiation, food preference, and motivation is well established, the involvement of MC3R in the modulation of food intake has been less explored. Here, we investigated the role of MC3R on the incentive motivation for food, which is a crucial component of feeding behavior. Dopaminergic neurons within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) have a crucial role in the motivation for food. We here report that MC3Rs are expressed on VTA dopaminergic neurons and that pro-opiomelanocortinergic (POMC) neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (Arc) innervate these VTA dopaminergic neurons. Our findings show that intracerebroventricular or intra-VTA infusion of the selective MC3R agonist γMSH increases responding for sucrose under a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement, but not free sucrose consumption in rats. Furthermore, ex vivo electrophysiological recordings show increased VTA dopaminergic neuronal activity upon γMSH application. Consistent with a dopamine-mediated effect of γMSH, the increased motivation for sucrose after intra-VTA infusion of γMSH was blocked by pretreatment with the dopamine receptor antagonist α-flupenthixol. Taken together, we demonstrate an Arc POMC projection onto VTA dopaminergic neurons that modulates motivation for palatable food via activation of MC3R signaling. PMID:26852738

  11. Melanocortin 3 Receptor Signaling in Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Increases the Motivation for Food Reward

    PubMed Central

    Pandit, Rahul; Omrani, Azar; Luijendijk, Mieneke C M; de Vrind, Véronne A J; Van Rozen, Andrea J; Ophuis, Ralph J A Oude; Garner, Keith; Kallo, Imre; Ghanem, Alexander; Liposits, Zsolt; Conzelmann, Karl-Klaus; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J; la Fleur, Susanne E; Adan, Roger A H

    2016-01-01

    The central melanocortin (MC) system mediates its effects on food intake via MC3 (MC3R) and MC4 receptors (MC4R). Although the role of MC4R in meal size determination, satiation, food preference, and motivation is well established, the involvement of MC3R in the modulation of food intake has been less explored. Here, we investigated the role of MC3R on the incentive motivation for food, which is a crucial component of feeding behavior. Dopaminergic neurons within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) have a crucial role in the motivation for food. We here report that MC3Rs are expressed on VTA dopaminergic neurons and that pro-opiomelanocortinergic (POMC) neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (Arc) innervate these VTA dopaminergic neurons. Our findings show that intracerebroventricular or intra-VTA infusion of the selective MC3R agonist γMSH increases responding for sucrose under a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement, but not free sucrose consumption in rats. Furthermore, ex vivo electrophysiological recordings show increased VTA dopaminergic neuronal activity upon γMSH application. Consistent with a dopamine-mediated effect of γMSH, the increased motivation for sucrose after intra-VTA infusion of γMSH was blocked by pretreatment with the dopamine receptor antagonist α-flupenthixol. Taken together, we demonstrate an Arc POMC projection onto VTA dopaminergic neurons that modulates motivation for palatable food via activation of MC3R signaling. PMID:26852738

  12. Kappa Opioid Receptor-Induced Aversion Requires p38 MAPK Activation in VTA Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ehrich, Jonathan M.; Messinger, Daniel I.; Knakal, Cerise R.; Kuhar, Jamie R.; Schattauer, Selena S.; Bruchas, Michael R.; Zweifel, Larry S.; Kieffer, Brigitte L.; Phillips, Paul E.M.

    2015-01-01

    The endogenous dynorphin-κ opioid receptor (KOR) system encodes the dysphoric component of the stress response and controls the risk of depression-like and addiction behaviors; however, the molecular and neural circuit mechanisms are not understood. In this study, we report that KOR activation of p38α MAPK in ventral tegmental (VTA) dopaminergic neurons was required for conditioned place aversion (CPA) in mice. Conditional genetic deletion of floxed KOR or floxed p38α MAPK by Cre recombinase expression in dopaminergic neurons blocked place aversion to the KOR agonist U50,488. Selective viral rescue by wild-type KOR expression in dopaminergic neurons of KOR−/− mice restored U50,488-CPA, whereas expression of a mutated form of KOR that could not initiate p38α MAPK activation did not. Surprisingly, while p38α MAPK inactivation blocked U50,488-CPA, p38α MAPK was not required for KOR inhibition of evoked dopamine release measured by fast scan cyclic voltammetry in the nucleus accumbens. In contrast, KOR activation acutely inhibited VTA dopaminergic neuron firing, and repeated exposure attenuated the opioid response. This adaptation to repeated exposure was blocked by conditional deletion of p38α MAPK, which also blocked KOR-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of the inwardly rectifying potassium channel (GIRK) subunit Kir3.1 in VTA dopaminergic neurons. Consistent with the reduced response, GIRK phosphorylation at this amino terminal tyrosine residue (Y12) enhances channel deactivation. Thus, contrary to prevailing expectations, these results suggest that κ opioid-induced aversion requires regulation of VTA dopaminergic neuron somatic excitability through a p38α MAPK effect on GIRK deactivation kinetics rather than by presynaptically inhibiting dopamine release. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Kappa opioid receptor (KOR) agonists have the potential to be effective, nonaddictive analgesics, but their therapeutic utility is greatly limited by adverse effects on mood

  13. Mechanisms for multiple activity modes of VTA dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Oster, Andrew; Faure, Philippe; Gutkin, Boris S.

    2015-01-01

    Midbrain ventral segmental area (VTA) dopaminergic neurons send numerous projections to cortical and sub-cortical areas, and diffusely release dopamine (DA) to their targets. DA neurons display a range of activity modes that vary in frequency and degree of burst firing. Importantly, DA neuronal bursting is associated with a significantly greater degree of DA release than an equivalent tonic activity pattern. Here, we introduce a single compartmental, conductance-based computational model for DA cell activity that captures the behavior of DA neuronal dynamics and examine the multiple factors that underlie DA firing modes: the strength of the SK conductance, the amount of drive, and GABA inhibition. Our results suggest that neurons with low SK conductance fire in a fast firing mode, are correlated with burst firing, and require higher levels of applied current before undergoing depolarization block. We go on to consider the role of GABAergic inhibition on an ensemble of dynamical classes of DA neurons and find that strong GABA inhibition suppresses burst firing. Our studies suggest differences in the distribution of the SK conductance and GABA inhibition levels may indicate subclasses of DA neurons within the VTA. We further identify, that by considering alternate potassium dynamics, the dynamics display burst patterns that terminate via depolarization block, akin to those observed in vivo in VTA DA neurons and in substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) DA cell preparations under apamin application. In addition, we consider the generation of transient burst firing events that are NMDA-initiated or elicited by a sudden decrease of GABA inhibition, that is, disinhibition. PMID:26283955

  14. Firing Modes of Dopamine Neurons Drive Bidirectional GIRK Channel Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Lalive, Arnaud L.; Munoz, Michaelanne B.; Bellone, Camilla; Slesinger, Paul A.

    2014-01-01

    G-protein-coupled inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels contribute to the resting membrane potential of many neurons, including dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). VTA DA neurons are bistable, firing in two modes: one characterized by bursts of action potentials, the other by tonic firing at a lower frequency. Here we provide evidence that these firing modes drive bidirectional plasticity of GIRK channel-mediated currents. In acute midbrain slices of mice, we observed that in vitro burst activation of VTA DA neurons potentiated GIRK currents whereas tonic firing depressed these currents. This plasticity was not specific to the metabotropic receptor activating the GIRK channels, as direct activation of GIRK channels by nonhydrolyzable GTP also potentiated the currents. The plasticity of GIRK currents required NMDA receptor and CaMKII activation, and involved protein trafficking through specific PDZ domains of GIRK2c and GIRK3 subunit isoforms. Prolonged tonic firing may thus enhance the probability to switch into burst-firing mode, which then potentiates GIRK currents and favors the return to baseline. In conclusion, activity-dependent GIRK channel plasticity may represent a slow destabilization process favoring the switch between the two firing modes of VTA DA neurons. PMID:24719090

  15. Role of Dopamine Neurons in Reward and Aversion: A Synaptic Plasticity Perspective.

    PubMed

    Pignatelli, Marco; Bonci, Antonello

    2015-06-01

    The brain is wired to predict future outcomes. Experience-dependent plasticity at excitatory synapses within dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area, a key region for a broad range of motivated behaviors, is thought to be a fundamental cellular mechanism that enables adaptation to a dynamic environment. Thus, depending on the circumstances, dopamine neurons are capable of processing both positive and negative reinforcement learning strategies. In this review, we will discuss how changes in synaptic plasticity of dopamine neurons may affect dopamine release, as well as behavioral adaptations to different environmental conditions falling at opposite ends of a saliency spectrum ranging from reward to aversion. PMID:26050034

  16. Visualization of Plasticity in Fear-Evoked Calcium Signals in Midbrain Dopamine Neurons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gore, Bryan B.; Soden, Marta E.; Zweifel, Larry S.

    2014-01-01

    Dopamine is broadly implicated in fear-related processes, yet we know very little about signaling dynamics in these neurons during active fear conditioning. We describe the direct imaging of calcium signals of dopamine neurons during Pavlovian fear conditioning using fiber-optic confocal microscopy coupled with the genetically encoded calcium…

  17. Absence of NMDA receptors in dopamine neurons attenuates dopamine release but not conditioned approach during Pavlovian conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Jones G.; Zweifel, Larry S.; Clark, Jeremy J.; Evans, Scott B.; Phillips, Paul E. M.; Palmiter, Richard D.

    2010-01-01

    During Pavlovian conditioning, phasic dopamine (DA) responses emerge to reward-predictive stimuli as the subject learns to anticipate reward delivery. This observation has led to the hypothesis that phasic dopamine signaling is important for learning. To assess the ability of mice to develop anticipatory behavior and to characterize the contribution of dopamine, we used a food-reinforced Pavlovian conditioning paradigm. As mice learned the cue–reward association, they increased their head entries to the food receptacle in a pattern that was consistent with conditioned anticipatory behavior. D1-receptor knockout (D1R-KO) mice had impaired acquisition, and systemic administration of a D1R antagonist blocked both the acquisition and expression of conditioned approach in wild-type mice. To assess the specific contribution of phasic dopamine transmission, we tested mice lacking NMDA-type glutamate receptors (NMDARs) exclusively in dopamine neurons (NR1-KO mice). Surprisingly, NR1-KO mice learned at the same rate as their littermate controls. To evaluate the contribution of NMDARs to phasic dopamine release in this paradigm, we performed fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in the nucleus accumbens of awake mice. Despite having significantly attenuated phasic dopamine release following reward delivery, KO mice developed cue-evoked dopamine release at the same rate as controls. We conclude that NMDARs in dopamine neurons enhance but are not critical for phasic dopamine release to behaviorally relevant stimuli; furthermore, their contribution to phasic dopamine signaling is not necessary for the development of cue-evoked dopamine or anticipatory activity in a D1R-dependent Pavlovian conditioning paradigm. PMID:20616081

  18. Attenuated Response to Methamphetamine Sensitization and Deficits in Motor Learning and Memory after Selective Deletion of [beta]-Catenin in Dopamine Neurons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diaz-Ruiz, Oscar; Zhang, YaJun; Shan, Lufei; Malik, Nasir; Hoffman, Alexander F.; Ladenheim, Bruce; Cadet, Jean Lud; Lupica, Carl R.; Tagliaferro, Adriana; Brusco, Alicia; Backman, Cristina M.

    2012-01-01

    In the present study, we analyzed mice with a targeted deletion of [beta]-catenin in DA neurons (DA-[beta]cat KO mice) to address the functional significance of this molecule in the shaping of synaptic responses associated with motor learning and following exposure to drugs of abuse. Relative to controls, DA-[beta]cat KO mice showed significant…

  19. Cannabinoid CB2 receptors modulate midbrain dopamine neuronal activity and dopamine-related behavior in mice

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hai-Ying; Gao, Ming; Liu, Qing-Rong; Bi, Guo-Hua; Li, Xia; Yang, Hong-Ju; Gardner, Eliot L.; Wu, Jie

    2014-01-01

    Cannabinoid CB2 receptors (CB2Rs) have been recently reported to modulate brain dopamine (DA)-related behaviors; however, the cellular mechanisms underlying these actions are unclear. Here we report that CB2Rs are expressed in ventral tegmental area (VTA) DA neurons and functionally modulate DA neuronal excitability and DA-related behavior. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemical assays detected CB2 mRNA and CB2R immunostaining in VTA DA neurons. Electrophysiological studies demonstrated that activation of CB2Rs by JWH133 or other CB2R agonists inhibited VTA DA neuronal firing in vivo and ex vivo, whereas microinjections of JWH133 into the VTA inhibited cocaine self-administration. Importantly, all of the above findings observed in WT or CB1−/− mice are blocked by CB2R antagonist and absent in CB2−/− mice. These data suggest that CB2R-mediated reduction of VTA DA neuronal activity may underlie JWH133's modulation of DA-regulated behaviors. PMID:25368177

  20. Excitation of type II anterior caudate neurons by stimulation of dopamine D3 receptors.

    PubMed

    Piercey, M F; Hyslop, D K; Hoffmann, W E

    1997-07-11

    Previous studies have demonstrated that both direct- and indirect-acting dopamine (DA) receptor agonists excite type II neurons in the anterior caudate (CN) by stimulation of DA receptors belonging to the D2 receptor subfamily (D2, D3, D4 receptor subtypes). In the present study, pramipexole, a D3-preferring DA agonist effective in treating Parkinson's disease, excited type II anterior CN neurons. As with other direct-acting agonists, excitation of the CN neurons occurred only at doses above those that silenced DA neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNPC). Although more potent than pramipexole in inhibiting SNPC cells, PNU-91356A, a D2-preferring agonist, did not excite type II CN cells. The D3-preferring antagonist (+)-AJ76 was weaker than haloperidol, a D2-preferring antagonist, in reversing the effects of amphetamine on firing rates in dopaminergic neurons in both the SNPC and the CN. However, in relationship to its potency in the SNPC, (+)-AJ76 was more potent than haloperidol in the CN. PNU-101387, a selective D4 antagonist, did not alter amphetamine-induced stimulation of type II CN neurons. We conclude that DA agonists may excite type II anterior CN neurons via D3 receptor activation. The stimulation of these neurons may contribute to the anti-parkinsonian effects of pramipexole. PMID:9262154

  1. Attenuated response to methamphetamine sensitization and deficits in motor learning and memory after selective deletion of β-catenin in dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Diaz-Ruiz, Oscar; Zhang, YaJun; Shan, Lufei; Malik, Nasir; Hoffman, Alexander F.; Ladenheim, Bruce; Cadet, Jean Lud; Lupica, Carl R.; Tagliaferro, Adriana; Brusco, Alicia; Bäckman, Cristina M.

    2012-01-01

    In the present study, we analyzed mice with a targeted deletion of β-catenin in DA neurons (DA-βcat KO mice) to address the functional significance of this molecule in the shaping of synaptic responses associated with motor learning and following exposure to drugs of abuse. Relative to controls, DA-βcat KO mice showed significant deficits in their ability to form long-term memories and displayed reduced expression of methamphetamine-induced behavioral sensitization after subsequent challenge doses with this drug, suggesting that motor learning and drug-induced learning plasticity are altered in these mice. Morphological analyses showed no changes in the number or distribution of tyrosine hydroxylase-labeled neurons in the ventral midbrain. While electrochemical measurements in the striatum determined no changes in acute DA release and uptake, a small but significant decrease in DA release was detected in mutant animals after prolonged repetitive stimulation, suggesting a possible deficit in the DA neurotransmitter vesicle reserve pool. However, electron microscopy analyses did not reveal significant differences in the content of synaptic vesicles per terminal, and striatal DA levels were unchanged in DA-βcat KO animals. In contrast, striatal mRNA levels for several markers known to regulate synaptic plasticity and DA neurotransmission were altered in DA-βcat KO mice. This study demonstrates that ablation of β-catenin in DA neurons leads to alterations of motor and reward-associated memories and to adaptations of the DA neurotransmitter system and suggests that β-catenin signaling in DA neurons is required to facilitate the synaptic remodeling underlying the consolidation of long-term memories. PMID:22822182

  2. Attenuated response to methamphetamine sensitization and deficits in motor learning and memory after selective deletion of β-catenin in dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Diaz-Ruiz, Oscar; Zhang, Yajun; Shan, Lufei; Malik, Nasir; Hoffman, Alexander F; Ladenheim, Bruce; Cadet, Jean Lud; Lupica, Carl R; Tagliaferro, Adriana; Brusco, Alicia; Bäckman, Cristina M

    2012-01-01

    In the present study, we analyzed mice with a targeted deletion of β-catenin in DA neurons (DA-βcat KO mice) to address the functional significance of this molecule in the shaping of synaptic responses associated with motor learning and following exposure to drugs of abuse. Relative to controls, DA-βcat KO mice showed significant deficits in their ability to form long-term memories and displayed reduced expression of methamphetamine-induced behavioral sensitization after subsequent challenge doses with this drug, suggesting that motor learning and drug-induced learning plasticity are altered in these mice. Morphological analyses showed no changes in the number or distribution of tyrosine hydroxylase-labeled neurons in the ventral midbrain. While electrochemical measurements in the striatum determined no changes in acute DA release and uptake, a small but significant decrease in DA release was detected in mutant animals after prolonged repetitive stimulation, suggesting a possible deficit in the DA neurotransmitter vesicle reserve pool. However, electron microscopy analyses did not reveal significant differences in the content of synaptic vesicles per terminal, and striatal DA levels were unchanged in DA-βcat KO animals. In contrast, striatal mRNA levels for several markers known to regulate synaptic plasticity and DA neurotransmission were altered in DA-βcat KO mice. This study demonstrates that ablation of β-catenin in DA neurons leads to alterations of motor and reward-associated memories and to adaptations of the DA neurotransmitter system and suggests that β-catenin signaling in DA neurons is required to facilitate the synaptic remodeling underlying the consolidation of long-term memories. PMID:22822182

  3. Dual role of medial A10 dopamine neurons in affective encoding.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhong-Hua; Shin, Rick; Ikemoto, Satoshi

    2008-11-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that the activation of medial A10 neurons mediates positive affective encoding. However, little is known about the functions of the inhibition of midbrain dopamine neurons. Here we show evidence suggesting that the inhibition of medial A10 neurons mediates a negative affective state, leading to negative affective encoding, whereas blunting the activation of medial A10 neurons disrupts positive affective encoding involving food reward. We used a microinjection procedure, in which the D(2) dopamine receptor agonist quinpirole was administered into the cell body region of the dopamine neurons, a procedure that reduces dopamine cell firing. Microinjections of quinpirole into the posteromedial ventral tegmental area, but not its more lateral counterparts, led to conditioned place aversion. Quinpirole administration to this site also decreased food intake and basal dopamine concentration in the ventromedial striatum, a major projection area of medial A10 neurons. In addition, moderate quinpirole doses that did not lead to conditioned place aversion or disrupt food intake abolished food-conditioned place preference, suggesting that blunting dopamine impulse activity in response to food reward disrupts positive affective encoding in associated external stimuli. Our data support the hypothesis that activation of medial A10 dopamine neurons mediates a positive affective state, leading to positive affective encoding, while their inhibition mediates a negative affective state, leading to negative affective encoding. Together with previous findings, we propose that medial A10 neurons are an important component of the mechanism via which animals learn to avoid negative incentive stimuli. PMID:18256592

  4. Sufficiency of Mesolimbic Dopamine Neuron Stimulation for the Progression to Addiction.

    PubMed

    Pascoli, Vincent; Terrier, Jean; Hiver, Agnès; Lüscher, Christian

    2015-12-01

    The factors causing the transition from recreational drug consumption to addiction remain largely unknown. It has not been tested whether dopamine (DA) is sufficient to trigger this process. Here we use optogenetic self-stimulation of DA neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to selectively mimic the defining commonality of addictive drugs. All mice readily acquired self-stimulation. After weeks of abstinence, cue-induced relapse was observed in parallel with a potentiation of excitatory afferents onto D1 receptor-expressing neurons of the nucleus accumbens (NAc). When the mice had to endure a mild electric foot shock to obtain a stimulation, some stopped while others persevered. The resistance to punishment was associated with enhanced neural activity in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) while chemogenetic inhibition of the OFC reduced compulsivity. Together, these results show that stimulating VTA DA neurons induces behavioral and cellular hallmarks of addiction, indicating sufficiency for the induction and progression of the disease. PMID:26586182

  5. Functional Upregulation of Ca2+ -Activated K+ Channels in the Development of Substantia Nigra Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez-Latorre, José A.

    2012-01-01

    Many connections in the basal ganglia are made around birth when animals are exposed to a host of new affective, cognitive, and sensori-motor stimuli. It is thought that dopamine modulates cortico-striatal synapses that result in the strengthening of those connections that lead to desired outcomes. We propose that there must be a time before which stimuli cannot be processed into functional connections, otherwise it would imply an effective link between stimulus, response, and reward in uterus. Consistent with these ideas, we present evidence that early in development dopamine neurons are electrically immature and do not produce high-frequency firing in response to salient stimuli. We ask first, what makes dopamine neurons immature? and second, what are the implications of this immaturity for the basal ganglia? As an answer to the first question, we find that at birth the outward current is small (3nS-V), insensitive to , TEA, BK, and SK blockers. Rapidly after birth, the outward current increases to 15nS-V and becomes sensitive to , TEA, BK, and SK blockers. We make a detailed analysis of the kinetics of the components of the outward currents and produce a model for BK and SK channels that we use to reproduce the outward current, and to infer the geometrical arrangement of BK and channels in clusters. In the first cluster, T-type and BK channels are coupled within distances of 20 nm (200 Å). The second cluster consists of L-type and BK channels that are spread over distances of at least 60 nm. As for the second question, we propose that early in development, the mechanism of action selection is in a “locked-in” state that would prevent dopamine neurons from reinforcing cortico-striatal synapses that do not have a functional experiential-based value. PMID:23284723

  6. Dopamine receptor activation modulates GABA neuron migration from the basal forebrain to the cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Crandall, James E; McCarthy, Deirdre M; Araki, Kiyomi Y; Sims, John R; Ren, Jia-Qian; Bhide, Pradeep G

    2007-04-01

    GABA neurons of the cerebral cortex and other telencephalic structures are produced in the basal forebrain and migrate to their final destinations during the embryonic period. The embryonic basal forebrain is enriched in dopamine and its receptors, creating a favorable environment for dopamine to influence GABA neuron migration. However, whether dopamine receptor activation can influence GABA neuron migration is not known. We show that dopamine D1 receptor activation promotes and D2 receptor activation decreases GABA neuron migration from the medial and caudal ganglionic eminences to the cerebral cortex in slice preparations of embryonic mouse forebrain. Slice preparations from D1 or D2 receptor knock-out mouse embryos confirm the findings. In addition, D1 receptor electroporation into cells of the basal forebrain and pharmacological activation of the receptor promote migration of the electroporated cells to the cerebral cortex. Analysis of GABA neuron numbers in the cerebral wall of the dopamine receptor knock-out mouse embryos further confirmed the effects of dopamine receptor activation on GABA neuron migration. Finally, dopamine receptor activation mobilizes striatal neuronal cytoskeleton in a manner consistent with the effects on neuronal migration. These data show that impairing the physiological balance between D1 and D2 receptors can alter GABA neuron migration from the basal forebrain to the cerebral cortex. The intimate relationship between dopamine and GABA neuron development revealed here may offer novel insights into developmental disorders such as schizophrenia, attention deficit or autism, and fetal cocaine exposure, all of which are associated with dopamine and GABA imbalance. PMID:17409246

  7. Dopamine- and Tyrosine Hydroxylase-Immunoreactive Neurons in the Brain of the American Cockroach, Periplaneta americana.

    PubMed

    Hamanaka, Yoshitaka; Minoura, Run; Nishino, Hiroshi; Miura, Toru; Mizunami, Makoto

    2016-01-01

    The catecholamine dopamine plays several vital roles in the central nervous system of many species, but its neural mechanisms remain elusive. Detailed neuroanatomical characterization of dopamine neurons is a prerequisite for elucidating dopamine's actions in the brain. In the present study, we investigated the distribution of dopaminergic neurons in the brain of the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, using two antisera: 1) an antiserum against dopamine, and 2) an antiserum against tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, an enzyme required for dopamine synthesis), and identified about 250 putatively dopaminergic neurons. The patterns of dopamine- and TH-immunoreactive neurons were strikingly similar, suggesting that both antisera recognize the same sets of "dopaminergic" neurons. The dopamine and TH antibodies intensively or moderately immunolabeled prominent brain neuropils, e.g. the mushroom body (memory center), antennal lobe (first-order olfactory center) and central complex (motor coordination center). All subdivisions of the mushroom body exhibit both dopamine and TH immunoreactivity. Comparison of immunolabeled neurons with those filled by dye injection revealed that a group of immunolabeled neurons with cell bodies near the calyx projects into a distal region of the vertical lobe, which is a plausible site for olfactory memory formation in insects. In the antennal lobe, ordinary glomeruli as well as macroglomeruli exhibit both dopamine and TH immunoreactivity. It is noteworthy that the dopamine antiserum labeled tiny granular structures inside the glomeruli whereas the TH antiserum labeled processes in the marginal regions of the glomeruli, suggesting a different origin. In the central complex, all subdivisions excluding part of the noduli and protocerebral bridge exhibit both dopamine and TH immunoreactivity. These anatomical findings will accelerate our understanding of dopaminergic systems, specifically in neural circuits underlying aversive memory formation

  8. Dopamine attenuates evoked inhibitory synaptic currents in central amygdala neurons

    PubMed Central

    Naylor, Jennifer C.; Li, Qiang; Kang-Park, Maeng-hee; Wilson, Wilkie A.; Kuhn, Cynthia; Moore, Scott D.

    2010-01-01

    The central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) plays a critical role in regulating the behavioral, autonomic and endocrine response to stress. Dopamine (DA) participates in mediating the stress response and DA release is enhanced in the CeA during stressful events. However, the electrophysiological effects of DA on CeA neurons have not yet been characterized. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify and characterize the effect of DA application on electrophysiological responses of CeA neurons in coronal brain sections of male Sprague Dawley rats. We used whole cell patch clamp electrophysiological techniques to record evoked synaptic responses and to determine basic membrane properties of CeA neurons both before and after DA superfusion. DA (20–250μM) did not significantly alter membrane conductance over the voltage range tested. However, DA significantly reduced peak amplitude of evoked inhibitory synaptic currents in CeA neurons. Pretreatment with the D2 receptor antagonist eticlopride failed to significantly block the inhibitory effects of DA. In contrast, pretreatment with the D1 receptor antagonist SCH-23390 significantly reduced DA effects on evoked inhibitory neurotransmission in these neurons. Moreover, bath superfusion of the specific D1 receptor agonist SKF-39393, but not the D2 receptor agonist quinpirole, significantly reduced peak amplitude of evoked inhibitory synaptic events. DA reduced the frequency of miniature IPSCs without altering the amplitude, while having no effect on the amplitude of IPSCs elicited by pressure application of GABA. These results suggest that DA may modulate inhibitory synaptic transmission in CeA through D1 receptor activation primarily by a presynaptic mechanism. PMID:20955472

  9. Neuronal-enriched cultures from embryonic rat ventral mesencephalon for pharmacological studies of dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Pardo, B; Paíno, C L; Casarejos, M J; Mena, M A

    1997-05-01

    The method described herein provides a convenient and rapid procedure to obtain enriched neuronal cultures containing reproducible numbers of dopamine (DA) cells. These cultures allow experimental paradigms designed to study the effect of drugs on DA neurons without astroglial mediation. Neuronal-enriched cultures are prepared from the mesencephalon of rat embryos at the 14th day of gestation (E14). At that moment, DA cells of the developing substantia nigra are located ventrally at the level of the mesencephalic flexure. Because the neurons of the pars compacta are mostly born between E12 and E15, E14 corresponds to an optimal stage for obtaining a high survival of DA cells. A defined medium (EF12) allows the maturation of DA neurons and reduces drastically the number of astrocytes. After 7 days in vitro (DIV) in EF12, the cultures contain 2-5% astrocytes (GFAP+ cells) and DA neurons represent 0.5-2% of the cells, as assessed by immunostaining to tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). The function of DA neurons is assessed by [3H]DA uptake and of those non-DA neurons by the high affinity [3H]GABA uptake. Cell survival is assessed by Trypan blue dye exclusion. PMID:9385075

  10. Distinct modes of dopamine and GABA release in a dual transmitter neuron

    PubMed Central

    Borisovska, Maria; Bensen, AeSoon; Chong, Gene; Westbrook, Gary L.

    2013-01-01

    We now know of a surprising number of cases where single neurons contain multiple neurotransmitters. Neurons that contain a fast-acting neurotransmitter such as glutamate or GABA, and a modulatory transmitter such as dopamine are a particularly interesting case because they presumably serve dual signaling functions. The olfactory bulb contains a large population of GABA and dopamine-containing neurons, which have been implicated in normal olfaction as well as in Parkinson’s disease. Yet, they have been classified as non-exocytotic catecholamine neurons because of the apparent lack of vesicular monoamine transporters. Thus we examined how dopamine is stored and released from tyrosine-hydroxylase-positive-GFP (TH+-GFP) mouse periglomerular neurons in vitro. TH+ cells expressed both VMAT2 and VGAT, consistent with vesicular storage of both dopamine and GABA. Carbon fiber amperometry revealed that release of dopamine was quantal and calcium-dependent, but quantal size was much less than expected for large dense core vesicles, suggesting that release originated from EM-identified small clear vesicles. A single action potential in a TH+ neuron evoked a brief GABA synaptic current whereas evoked dopamine release was asynchronous, lasting for tens of seconds. Our data suggests that dopamine and GABA serve temporally distinct roles in these dual transmitter neurons. PMID:23365218

  11. Sleep Facilitates Memory by Blocking Dopamine Neuron-Mediated Forgetting.

    PubMed

    Berry, Jacob A; Cervantes-Sandoval, Isaac; Chakraborty, Molee; Davis, Ronald L

    2015-06-18

    Early studies from psychology suggest that sleep facilitates memory retention by stopping ongoing retroactive interference caused by mental activity or external sensory stimuli. Neuroscience research with animal models, on the other hand, suggests that sleep facilitates retention by enhancing memory consolidation. Recently, in Drosophila, the ongoing activity of specific dopamine neurons was shown to regulate the forgetting of olfactory memories. Here, we show this ongoing dopaminergic activity is modulated with behavioral state, increasing robustly with locomotor activity and decreasing with rest. Increasing sleep-drive, with either the sleep-promoting agent Gaboxadol or by genetic stimulation of the neural circuit for sleep, decreases ongoing dopaminergic activity, while enhancing memory retention. Conversely, increasing arousal stimulates ongoing dopaminergic activity and accelerates dopaminergic-based forgetting. Therefore, forgetting is regulated by the behavioral state modulation of dopaminergic-based plasticity. Our findings integrate psychological and neuroscience research on sleep and forgetting. PMID:26073942

  12. Neuronal release of endogenous dopamine from corpus of guinea pig stomach.

    PubMed

    Shichijo, K; Sakurai-Yamashita, Y; Sekine, I; Taniyama, K

    1997-11-01

    Neuronal release of endogenous dopamine was identified in mucosa-free preparations (muscle layer including intramural plexus) from guinea pig stomach corpus by measuring tissue dopamine content and dopamine release and by immunohistochemical methods using a dopamine antiserum. Dopamine content in mucosa-free preparations of guinea pig gastric corpus was one-tenth of norepinephrine content. Electrical transmural stimulation of mucosa-free preparations of gastric corpus increased the release of endogenous dopamine in a frequency-dependent (3-20 Hz) manner. The stimulated release of dopamine was prevented by either removal of external Ca2+ or treatment with tetrodotoxin. Dopamine-immunopositive nerve fibers surrounding choline acetyltransferase-immunopositive ganglion cells were seen in the myenteric plexus of whole mount preparations of gastric corpus even after bilateral transection of the splanchnic nerve proximal to the junction with the vagal nerve (section of nerves between the celiac ganglion and stomach). Domperidone and sulpiride potentiated the stimulated release of acetylcholine and reversed the dopamine-induced inhibition of acetylcholine release from mucosa-free preparations. These results indicate that dopamine is physiologically released from neurons and from possible dopaminergic nerve terminals and regulates cholinergic neuronal activity in the corpus of guinea pig stomach. PMID:9374701

  13. Dopamine- and Tyrosine Hydroxylase-Immunoreactive Neurons in the Brain of the American Cockroach, Periplaneta americana

    PubMed Central

    Hamanaka, Yoshitaka; Minoura, Run; Nishino, Hiroshi; Miura, Toru; Mizunami, Makoto

    2016-01-01

    The catecholamine dopamine plays several vital roles in the central nervous system of many species, but its neural mechanisms remain elusive. Detailed neuroanatomical characterization of dopamine neurons is a prerequisite for elucidating dopamine’s actions in the brain. In the present study, we investigated the distribution of dopaminergic neurons in the brain of the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, using two antisera: 1) an antiserum against dopamine, and 2) an antiserum against tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, an enzyme required for dopamine synthesis), and identified about 250 putatively dopaminergic neurons. The patterns of dopamine- and TH-immunoreactive neurons were strikingly similar, suggesting that both antisera recognize the same sets of “dopaminergic” neurons. The dopamine and TH antibodies intensively or moderately immunolabeled prominent brain neuropils, e.g. the mushroom body (memory center), antennal lobe (first-order olfactory center) and central complex (motor coordination center). All subdivisions of the mushroom body exhibit both dopamine and TH immunoreactivity. Comparison of immunolabeled neurons with those filled by dye injection revealed that a group of immunolabeled neurons with cell bodies near the calyx projects into a distal region of the vertical lobe, which is a plausible site for olfactory memory formation in insects. In the antennal lobe, ordinary glomeruli as well as macroglomeruli exhibit both dopamine and TH immunoreactivity. It is noteworthy that the dopamine antiserum labeled tiny granular structures inside the glomeruli whereas the TH antiserum labeled processes in the marginal regions of the glomeruli, suggesting a different origin. In the central complex, all subdivisions excluding part of the noduli and protocerebral bridge exhibit both dopamine and TH immunoreactivity. These anatomical findings will accelerate our understanding of dopaminergic systems, specifically in neural circuits underlying aversive memory

  14. Elevated Mitochondrial Bioenergetics and Axonal Arborization Size Are Key Contributors to the Vulnerability of Dopamine Neurons.

    PubMed

    Pacelli, Consiglia; Giguère, Nicolas; Bourque, Marie-Josée; Lévesque, Martin; Slack, Ruth S; Trudeau, Louis-Éric

    2015-09-21

    Although the mechanisms underlying the loss of neurons in Parkinson's disease are not well understood, impaired mitochondrial function and pathological protein aggregation are suspected as playing a major role. Why DA (dopamine) neurons and a select small subset of brain nuclei are particularly vulnerable to such ubiquitous cellular dysfunctions is presently one of the key unanswered questions in Parkinson's disease research. One intriguing hypothesis is that their heightened vulnerability is a consequence of their elevated bioenergetic requirements. Here, we show for the first time that vulnerable nigral DA neurons differ from less vulnerable DA neurons such as those of the VTA (ventral tegmental area) by having a higher basal rate of mitochondrial OXPHOS (oxidative phosphorylation), a smaller reserve capacity, a higher density of axonal mitochondria, an elevated level of basal oxidative stress, and a considerably more complex axonal arborization. Furthermore, we demonstrate that reducing axonal arborization by acting on axon guidance pathways with Semaphorin 7A reduces in parallel the basal rate of mitochondrial OXPHOS and the vulnerability of nigral DA neurons to the neurotoxic agents MPP(+) (1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium) and rotenone. Blocking L-type calcium channels with isradipine was protective against MPP(+) but not rotenone. Our data provide the most direct demonstration to date in favor of the hypothesis that the heightened vulnerability of nigral DA neurons in Parkinson's disease is directly due to their particular bioenergetic and morphological characteristics. PMID:26320949

  15. Dopamine neurons projecting to the posterior striatum form an anatomically distinct subclass

    PubMed Central

    Menegas, William; Bergan, Joseph F; Ogawa, Sachie K; Isogai, Yoh; Umadevi Venkataraju, Kannan; Osten, Pavel; Uchida, Naoshige; Watabe-Uchida, Mitsuko

    2015-01-01

    Combining rabies-virus tracing, optical clearing (CLARITY), and whole-brain light-sheet imaging, we mapped the monosynaptic inputs to midbrain dopamine neurons projecting to different targets (different parts of the striatum, cortex, amygdala, etc) in mice. We found that most populations of dopamine neurons receive a similar set of inputs rather than forming strong reciprocal connections with their target areas. A common feature among most populations of dopamine neurons was the existence of dense ‘clusters’ of inputs within the ventral striatum. However, we found that dopamine neurons projecting to the posterior striatum were outliers, receiving relatively few inputs from the ventral striatum and instead receiving more inputs from the globus pallidus, subthalamic nucleus, and zona incerta. These results lay a foundation for understanding the input/output structure of the midbrain dopamine circuit and demonstrate that dopamine neurons projecting to the posterior striatum constitute a unique class of dopamine neurons regulated by different inputs. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10032.001 PMID:26322384

  16. Gremlin is a novel VTA derived neuroprotective factor for dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Phani, Sudarshan; Jablonski, Michael; Pelta-Heller, Josh; Cai, Jingli; Iacovitti, Lorraine

    2013-03-15

    Parkinson's disease and its characteristic symptoms are thought to arise from the progressive degeneration of specific midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons. In humans, DA neurons of the substantia nigra (SN) and their projections to the striatum show selective vulnerability, while neighboring DA neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are relatively spared from degeneration. Recent studies from our laboratory have shown that the VTA exhibits a unique transcriptional response when exposed to MPTP (Phani et al., 2010), a neurotoxin able to mimic the selective cell loss observed in PD (Schneider et al., 1987). In this study, we focus on gremlin, a peptide that is transcriptionally increased in the VTA in response to MPTP. We describe a novel role for gremlin as a neuroprotective agent both in vitro and in vivo and show that gremlin is capable of protecting SN DA neurons and several DA cell lines against MPP+/MPTP. We propose that this protection is mediated by VEGFR2, and by the MAP kinase signaling pathway downstream of the receptor. Our data indicate that gremlin may be a key factor in protecting the VTA against MPTP-induced cell death, and that exogenous application of gremlin is capable of protecting SN DA neurons, and therefore may provide an opportunity for the development of novel PD therapeutic compounds. PMID:23348379

  17. Sensory effects of intravenous cocaine on dopamine and non-dopamine ventral tegmental area neurons

    PubMed Central

    Brown, P. Leon; Kiyatkin, Eugene A.

    2008-01-01

    Intravenous (iv) cocaine mimics salient somato-sensory stimuli in their ability to induce rapid physiological effects, which appear to involve its action on peripherally located neural elements and fast neural transmission via somato-sensory pathways. To further clarify this mechanism, single-unit recording with fine glass electrodes was used in awake rats to examine responses of ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons, both presumed dopamine (DA) and non-DA, to iv cocaine and tail-press, a typical somato-sensory stimulus. To exclude the contribution of DA mechanisms to the observed neuronal responses to sensory stimuli and cocaine, recordings were conducted during full DA receptor blockade (SCH23390+eticloptide). Iv cocaine (0.25 mg/kg delivered over 10 s) induces significant excitations of ~63% of long-spike (presumed DA) and ~70% of short-spike (presumed non-DA) VTA neurons. In both subgroups, neuronal excitations occurred with short latencies (4–8 s), peaked at 10–20 s (30–40% increase over baseline) and disappeared at 30–40 s after the injection onset. Most long- (67%) and short-spike (89%) VTA neurons also showed phasic responses to tail-press (5-s). All responsive long-spike cells were excited by tail-press; excitations were very rapid (peak at 1 s) and strong (100% rate increase over baseline) but brief (2–3 s). In contrast, both excitations (60%) and inhibitions (29%) were seen in short-spike cells. These responses were also rapid and transient, but excitations of short-spike units were more prolonged and sustained (10–15 s) than in long-spike cells. These data suggest that in awake animals iv cocaine, like somato-sensory stimuli, rapidly and transiently excites VTA neurons of different subtypes. Therefore, along with direct action on specific brain substrates, central effects of cocaine may occur via indirect mechanism, involving peripheral neural elements, visceral sensory nerves and rapid neural transmission. Via this mechanism, cocaine, like

  18. Dopamine determines the vulnerability of striatal neurons to the N-terminal fragment of mutant huntingtin through the regulation of mitochondrial complex II

    PubMed Central

    Benchoua, Alexandra; Trioulier, Yaël; Diguet, Elsa; Malgorn, Carole; Gaillard, Marie-Claude; Dufour, Noelle; Elalouf, Jean-Marc; Krajewski, Stan; Hantraye, Philippe; Déglon, Nicole; Brouillet, Emmanuel

    2008-01-01

    In neurodegenerative disorders associated with primary or secondary mitochondrial defects such as Huntington's disease (HD), cells of the striatum are particularly vulnerable to cell death, although the mechanisms by which this cell death is induced are unclear. Dopamine, found in high concentrations in the striatum, may play a role in striatal cell death. We show that in primary striatal cultures, dopamine increases the toxicity of an N-terminal fragment of mutated huntingtin (Htt-171-82Q). Mitochondrial complex II protein (mCII) levels are reduced in HD striatum, indicating that this protein may be important for dopamine-mediated striatal cell death. We found that dopamine enhances the toxicity of the selective mCII inhibitor, 3-nitropropionic acid. We also demonstrated that dopamine doses that are insufficient to produce cell loss regulate mCII expression at the mRNA, protein and catalytic activity level. We also show that dopamine-induced down-regulation of mCII levels can be blocked by several dopamine D2 receptor antagonists. Sustained overexpression of mCII subunits using lentiviral vectors abrogated the effects of dopamine, both by high dopamine concentrations alone and neuronal death induced by low dopamine concentrations together with Htt-171-82Q. This novel pathway links dopamine signaling and regulation of mCII activity and could play a key role in oxidative energy metabolism and explain the vulnerability of the striatum in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:18267960

  19. Gestational lead exposure selectively decreases retinal dopamine amacrine cells and dopamine content in adult mice

    SciTech Connect

    Fox, Donald A.; Hamilton, W. Ryan; Johnson, Jerry E.; Xiao, Weimin; Chaney, Shawntay; Mukherjee, Shradha; Miller, Diane B.; O'Callaghan, James P.

    2011-11-15

    Gestational lead exposure (GLE) produces supernormal scotopic electroretinograms (ERG) in children, monkeys and rats, and a novel retinal phenotype characterized by an increased number of rod photoreceptors and bipolar cells in adult mice and rats. Since the loss of dopaminergic amacrine cells (DA ACs) in GLE monkeys and rats contributes to supernormal ERGs, the retinal DA system was analyzed in mice following GLE. C57BL/6 female mice were exposed to low (27 ppm), moderate (55 ppm) or high (109 ppm) lead throughout gestation and until postnatal day 10 (PN10). Blood [Pb] in control, low-, moderate- and high-dose GLE was {<=} 1, {<=} 10, {approx} 25 and {approx} 40 {mu}g/dL, respectively, on PN10 and by PN30 all were {<=} 1 {mu}g/dL. At PN60, confocal-stereology studies used vertical sections and wholemounts to characterize tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expression and the number of DA and other ACs. GLE dose-dependently and selectively decreased the number of TH-immunoreactive (IR) DA ACs and their synaptic plexus without affecting GABAergic, glycinergic or cholinergic ACs. Immunoblots and confocal revealed dose-dependent decreases in retinal TH protein expression and content, although monoamine oxidase-A protein and gene expression were unchanged. High-pressure liquid chromatography showed that GLE dose-dependently decreased retinal DA content, its metabolites and DA utilization/release. The mechanism of DA selective vulnerability is unknown. However, a GLE-induced loss/dysfunction of DA ACs during development could increase the number of rods and bipolar cells since DA helps regulate neuronal proliferation, whereas during adulthood it could produce ERG supernormality as well as altered circadian rhythms, dark/light adaptation and spatial contrast sensitivity. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Peak [BPb] in control, low-, moderate- and high-dose newborn mice with gestational lead exposure: {<=} 1, {<=} 10, 25 and 40 {mu}g/dL Black

  20. Limited encoding of effort by dopamine neurons in a cost-benefit trade-off task

    PubMed Central

    Pasquereau, Benjamin; Turner, Robert S.

    2013-01-01

    Animals are thought to evaluate the desirability of action options using a unified scale that combines predicted benefits (“rewards”), costs, and the animal’s internal motivational state. Midbrain dopamine neurons have long been associated with the reward part of this equation, but it is unclear whether these neurons also estimate the costs of taking an action. We studied the spiking activity of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta of monkeys (Macaca mulatta) during a reaching task in which the energetic costs incurred (friction loads) and the benefits gained (drops of food) were manipulated independently. Although the majority of dopamine neurons encoded the upcoming reward alone, a subset predicted net utility of a course of action by signaling the expected reward magnitude, discounted by the invested cost in terms of physical effort. In addition, the tonic activity of some dopamine neurons was slowly reduced in conjunction with the accumulated trials, which is consistent with the hypothesized role for tonic dopamine in the invigoration or motivation of instrumental responding. The present results shed light on an oft-hypothesized role for dopamine in the regulation of the balance in natural behaviors between the energy expended and the benefits gained, which could explain why dopamine disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, lead to a breakdown of that balance. PMID:23658169

  1. Limited encoding of effort by dopamine neurons in a cost-benefit trade-off task.

    PubMed

    Pasquereau, Benjamin; Turner, Robert S

    2013-05-01

    Animals are thought to evaluate the desirability of action options using a unified scale that combines predicted benefits ("rewards"), costs, and the animal's internal motivational state. Midbrain dopamine neurons have long been associated with the reward part of this equation, but it is unclear whether these neurons also estimate the costs of taking an action. We studied the spiking activity of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta of monkeys (Macaca mulatta) during a reaching task in which the energetic costs incurred (friction loads) and the benefits gained (drops of food) were manipulated independently. Although the majority of dopamine neurons encoded the upcoming reward alone, a subset predicted net utility of a course of action by signaling the expected reward magnitude discounted by the invested cost in terms of physical effort. In addition, the tonic activity of some dopamine neurons was slowly reduced in conjunction with the accumulated trials, which is consistent with the hypothesized role for tonic dopamine in the invigoration or motivation of instrumental responding. The present results shed light on an often-hypothesized role for dopamine in the regulation of the balance in natural behaviors between the energy expended and the benefits gained, which could explain why dopamine disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, lead to a breakdown of that balance. PMID:23658169

  2. Parthenogenetic dopamine neurons from primate embryonic stem cells restore function in experimental Parkinson's disease

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hyojin; Patterson, Michaela; Reske-Nielsen, Casper; Yoshizaki, Takahito; Sonntag, Kai C.; Studer, Lorenz; Isacson, Ole

    2008-01-01

    The identity and functional potential of dopamine neurons derived in vitro from embryonic stem cells are critical for the development of a stem cell-based replacement therapy for Parkinson's disease. Using a parthenogenetic primate embryonic stem cell line, we have generated dopamine neurons that display persistent expression of midbrain regional and cell-specific transcription factors, which establish their proper identity and allow for their survival. We show here that transplantation of parthenogenetic dopamine neurons restores motor function in hemi-parkinsonian, 6-hydroxy-dopamine-lesioned rats. Exposure to Wnt5a and fibroblast growth factors (FGF) 20 and 2 at the final stage of in vitro differentiation enhanced the survival of dopamine neurons and, correspondingly, the extent of motor recovery of transplanted animals. Importantly for future development of clinical applications, dopamine neurons were post-mitotic at the time of transplantation and there was no tumour formation. These data provide proof for the concept that parthenogenetic stem cells are a suitable source of functional neurons for therapeutic applications. PMID:18669499

  3. Changes in Neuronal Dopamine Homeostasis following 1-Methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) Exposure*

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Se Joon; Panhelainen, Anne; Schmitz, Yvonne; Larsen, Kristin E.; Kanter, Ellen; Wu, Min; Sulzer, David; Mosharov, Eugene V.

    2015-01-01

    1-Methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+), the active metabolite of the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, selectively kills dopaminergic neurons in vivo and in vitro via a variety of toxic mechanisms, including mitochondrial dysfunction, generation of peroxynitrite, induction of apoptosis, and oxidative stress due to disruption of vesicular dopamine (DA) storage. To investigate the effects of acute MPP+ exposure on neuronal DA homeostasis, we measured stimulation-dependent DA release and non-exocytotic DA efflux from mouse striatal slices and extracellular, intracellular, and cytosolic DA (DAcyt) levels in cultured mouse ventral midbrain neurons. In acute striatal slices, MPP+ exposure gradually decreased stimulation-dependent DA release, followed by massive DA efflux that was dependent on MPP+ concentration, temperature, and DA uptake transporter activity. Similarly, in mouse midbrain neuronal cultures, MPP+ depleted vesicular DA storage accompanied by an elevation of cytosolic and extracellular DA levels. In neuronal cell bodies, increased DAcyt was not due to transmitter leakage from synaptic vesicles but rather to competitive MPP+-dependent inhibition of monoamine oxidase activity. Accordingly, monoamine oxidase blockers pargyline and l-deprenyl had no effect on DAcyt levels in MPP+-treated cells and produced only a moderate effect on the survival of dopaminergic neurons treated with the toxin. In contrast, depletion of intracellular DA by blocking neurotransmitter synthesis resulted in ∼30% reduction of MPP+-mediated toxicity, whereas overexpression of VMAT2 completely rescued dopaminergic neurons. These results demonstrate the utility of comprehensive analysis of DA metabolism using various electrochemical methods and reveal the complexity of the effects of MPP+ on neuronal DA homeostasis and neurotoxicity. PMID:25596531

  4. In vitro and in vivo analyses of human embryonic stem cell-derived dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Park, Chang-Hwan; Minn, Yang-Ki; Lee, Ji-Yeon; Choi, Dong Ho; Chang, Mi-Yoon; Shim, Jae-Won; Ko, Ji-Yun; Koh, Hyun-Chul; Kang, Min Jeong; Kang, Jin Sun; Rhie, Duck-Joo; Lee, Yong-Sung; Son, Hyeon; Moon, Shin Yong; Kim, Kwang-Soo; Lee, Sang-Hun

    2005-03-01

    Human embryonic stem (hES) cells, due to their capacity of multipotency and self-renewal, may serve as a valuable experimental tool for human developmental biology and may provide an unlimited cell source for cell replacement therapy. The purpose of this study was to assess the developmental potential of hES cells to replace the selectively lost midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons in Parkinson's disease. Here, we report the development of an in vitro differentiation protocol to derive an enriched population of midbrain DA neurons from hES cells. Neural induction of hES cells co-cultured with stromal cells, followed by expansion of the resulting neural precursor cells, efficiently generated DA neurons with concomitant expression of transcriptional factors related to midbrain DA development, such as Pax2, En1 (Engrailed-1), Nurr1, and Lmx1b. Using our procedure, the majority of differentiated hES cells (> 95%) contained neuronal or neural precursor markers and a high percentage (> 40%) of TuJ1+ neurons was tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)+, while none of them expressed the undifferentiated ES cell marker, Oct 3/4. Furthermore, hES cell-derived DA neurons demonstrated functionality in vitro, releasing DA in response to KCl-induced depolarization and reuptake of DA. Finally, transplantation of hES-derived DA neurons into the striatum of hemi-parkinsonian rats failed to result in improvement of their behavioral deficits as determined by amphetamine-induced rotation and step-adjustment. Immunohistochemical analyses of grafted brains revealed that abundant hES-derived cells (human nuclei+ cells) survived in the grafts, but none of them were TH+. Therefore, unlike those from mouse ES cells, hES cell-derived DA neurons either do not survive or their DA phenotype is unstable when grafted into rodent brains. PMID:15715675

  5. Morphological evidence for dopamine interactions with pallidal neurons in primates

    PubMed Central

    Eid, Lara; Parent, Martin

    2015-01-01

    The external (GPe) and internal (GPi) segments of the primate globus pallidus receive dopamine (DA) axonal projections arising mainly from the substantia nigra pars compacta and this innervation is here described based on tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunohistochemical observations gathered in the squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus). At the light microscopic level, unbiased stereological quantification of TH positive (+) axon varicosities reveals a similar density of innervation in the GPe (0.19 ± 0.02 × 106 axon varicosities/mm3 of tissue) and GPi (0.17 ± 0.01 × 106), but regional variations occur in the anteroposterior and dorsoventral axes in both GPe and GPi and along the mediolateral plane in the GPe. Estimation of the neuronal population in the GPe (3.47 ± 0.15 × 103 neurons/mm3) and GPi (2.69 ± 0.18 × 103) yields a mean ratio of, respectively, 28 ± 3 and 68 ± 15 TH+ axon varicosities/pallidal neuron. At the electron microscopic level, TH+ axon varicosities in the GPe appear significantly smaller than those in the GPi and very few TH+ axon varicosities are engaged in synaptic contacts in the GPe (17 ± 3%) and the GPi (15 ± 4%) compared to their unlabeled counterparts (77 ± 6 and 50 ± 12%, respectively). Genuine synaptic contacts made by TH+ axon varicosities in the GPe and GPi are of the symmetrical and asymmetrical type. Such synaptic contacts together with the presence of numerous synaptic vesicles in all TH+ axon varicosities observed in the GPe and GPi support the functionality of the DA pallidal innervation. By virtue of its predominantly volumic mode of action, DA appears to exert a key modulatory effect upon pallidal neurons in concert with the more direct GABAergic inhibitory and glutamatergic excitatory actions of the striatum and subthalamic nucleus. We argue that the DA pallidal innervation plays a major role in the functional organization of the primate basal ganglia under both normal and pathological conditions. PMID:26321923

  6. Central actions of a novel and selective dopamine antagonist

    SciTech Connect

    Schulz, D.W.

    1985-01-01

    Receptors for the neurotransmitter dopamine traditionally have been divided into two subgroups: the D/sub 1/ class, which is linked to the stimulation of adenylate cyclase-activity, and the D/sub 2/ class which is not. There is much evidence suggesting that it is the D/sub 2/ class which is not. There is much evidence suggesting that it is the D/sub 2/ dopamine receptor that mediates the physiological and behavioral actions of dopamine in the intact animal. However, the benzazepine SCH23390 is a dopamine antagonist which has potent behavioral actions while displaying apparent neurochemical selectivity for the D/sub 1/ class of dopamine receptors. The purpose of this dissertation was to (1) confirm and characterize this selectivity, and (2) test certain hypothesis related to possible modes of action of SCH233390. The inhibition of adenylate cyclase by SCH23390 occurred via an action at the dopamine receptor only. A radiolabeled analog of SCH23390 displayed the receptor binding properties of a specific high-affinity ligand, and regional receptor densities were highly correlated with dopamine levels. The subcellular distribution of (/sup 3/H)-SCH23390 binding did not correspond completely with that of dopamine-stimulated adenylate cyclase. The neurochemical potency of SCH23390 as a D/sub 1/ receptor antagonist was preserved following parental administration. A variety of dopamine agonists and antagonists displayed a high correlation between their abilities to compete for (/sup 3/H)-SCH23390 binding in vitro and to act at an adenylate cyclase-linked receptor. Finally, the relative affinities of dopamine and SCH23390 for both D/sub 1/ receptors and (/sup 3/H)-SCH23390 binding sites were comparable. It is concluded that the behavioral effects of SCH23390 are mediated by actions at D/sub 1/ dopamine receptors only, and that the physiological importance of this class of receptors should be reevaluated.

  7. The Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors α4* and α6* Differentially Modulate Dopamine Release in Mouse Striatal Slices

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Erin L.; Yoshikami, Doju; McIntosh, J. Michael

    2008-01-01

    Striatal dopamine plays a major role in the regulation of motor coordination and in the processing of salient information. We used voltammetry to monitor dopamine-release evoked by electrical stimulation in striatal slices, where interneurons continuously release acetylcholine. Use of the α6-selective antagonist α-conotoxin MII[E11A] and α4 knockout mice enabled identification of two populations of dopaminergic fibers. The first population had a low action potential threshold, and action potential-evoked dopamine-release from these fibers was modulated by α6. The second population had a higher action potential threshold, and only α4(non-α6) modulated action potential-evoked dopamine-release. Striatal dopaminergic neurons fire in both tonic and phasic patterns. When stimuli were applied in a train to mimic phasic firing, more dopamine-released was observed in α4 knockout vs. wildtype mice. Furthermore, block of α4(non-α6), but not of α6, increased dopamine release evoked by a train. These results indicate that there are different classes of striatal dopaminergic fibers that express different subtypes of nicotinic receptors. PMID:18248619

  8. Evaluation of animal models of obsessive-compulsive disorder: correlation with phasic dopamine neuron activity.

    PubMed

    Sesia, Thibaut; Bizup, Brandon; Grace, Anthony A

    2013-07-01

    Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric condition defined by intrusive thoughts (obsessions) associated with compensatory and repetitive behaviour (compulsions). However, advancement in our understanding of this disorder has been hampered by the absence of effective animal models and correspondingly analysis of the physiological changes that may be present in these models. To address this, we have evaluated two current rodent models of OCD; repeated injection of dopamine D2 agonist quinpirole and repeated adolescent injection of the tricyclic agent clomipramine in combination with a behavioural paradigm designed to produce compulsive lever pressing. These results were then compared with their relative impact on the state of activity of the mesolimbic dopaminergic system using extracellular recoding of spontaneously active dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). The clomipramine model failed to exacerbate compulsive lever pressing and VTA dopamine neurons in clomipramine-treated rats had mildly diminished bursting activity. In contrast, quinpirole-treated animals showed significant increases in compulsive lever pressing, which was concurrent with a substantial diminution of bursting activity of VTA dopamine neurons. Therefore, VTA dopamine activity correlated with the behavioural response in these models. Taken together, these data support the view that compulsive behaviours likely reflect, at least in part, a disruption of the dopaminergic system, more specifically by a decrease in baseline phasic dopamine signalling mediated by burst firing of dopamine neurons. PMID:23360787

  9. Noradrenaline and dopamine neurons in the reward/effort trade-off: a direct electrophysiological comparison in behaving monkeys.

    PubMed

    Varazzani, Chiara; San-Galli, Aurore; Gilardeau, Sophie; Bouret, Sebastien

    2015-05-20

    Motivation determines multiple aspects of behavior, including action selection and energization of behavior. Several components of the underlying neural systems have been examined closely, but the specific role of the different neuromodulatory systems in motivation remains unclear. Here, we compare directly the activity of dopaminergic neurons from the substantia nigra pars compacta and noradrenergic neurons from the locus coeruleus in monkeys performing a task manipulating the reward/effort trade-off. Consistent with previous reports, dopaminergic neurons encoded the expected reward, but we found that they also anticipated the upcoming effort cost in connection with its negative influence on action selection. Conversely, the firing of noradrenergic neurons increased with both pupil dilation and effort production in relation to the energization of behavior. Therefore, this work underlines the contribution of dopamine to effort-based decision making and uncovers a specific role of noradrenaline in energizing behavior to face challenges. PMID:25995472

  10. Prototypic and Arkypallidal Neurons in the Dopamine-Intact External Globus Pallidus

    PubMed Central

    Abdi, Azzedine; Mallet, Nicolas; Mohamed, Foad Y.; Sharott, Andrew; Dodson, Paul D.; Nakamura, Kouichi C.; Suri, Sana; Avery, Sophie V.; Larvin, Joseph T.; Garas, Farid N.; Garas, Shady N.; Vinciati, Federica; Morin, Stéphanie; Bezard, Erwan

    2015-01-01

    Studies in dopamine-depleted rats indicate that the external globus pallidus (GPe) contains two main types of GABAergic projection cell; so-called “prototypic” and “arkypallidal” neurons. Here, we used correlative anatomical and electrophysiological approaches in rats to determine whether and how this dichotomous organization applies to the dopamine-intact GPe. Prototypic neurons coexpressed the transcription factors Nkx2-1 and Lhx6, comprised approximately two-thirds of all GPe neurons, and were the major GPe cell type innervating the subthalamic nucleus (STN). In contrast, arkypallidal neurons expressed the transcription factor FoxP2, constituted just over one-fourth of GPe neurons, and innervated the striatum but not STN. In anesthetized dopamine-intact rats, molecularly identified prototypic neurons fired at relatively high rates and with high regularity, regardless of brain state (slow-wave activity or spontaneous activation). On average, arkypallidal neurons fired at lower rates and regularities than prototypic neurons, and the two cell types could be further distinguished by the temporal coupling of their firing to ongoing cortical oscillations. Complementing the activity differences observed in vivo, the autonomous firing of identified arkypallidal neurons in vitro was slower and more variable than that of prototypic neurons, which tallied with arkypallidal neurons displaying lower amplitudes of a “persistent” sodium current important for such pacemaking. Arkypallidal neurons also exhibited weaker driven and rebound firing compared with prototypic neurons. In conclusion, our data support the concept that a dichotomous functional organization, as actioned by arkypallidal and prototypic neurons with specialized molecular, structural, and physiological properties, is fundamental to the operations of the dopamine-intact GPe. PMID:25926446

  11. Distinct dopamine neurons mediate reward signals for short- and long-term memories

    PubMed Central

    Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Ichinose, Toshiharu; Aso, Yoshinori; Plaçais, Pierre-Yves; Friedrich, Anja B.; Sima, Richard J.; Preat, Thomas; Rubin, Gerald M.; Tanimoto, Hiromu

    2015-01-01

    Drosophila melanogaster can acquire a stable appetitive olfactory memory when the presentation of a sugar reward and an odor are paired. However, the neuronal mechanisms by which a single training induces long-term memory are poorly understood. Here we show that two distinct subsets of dopamine neurons in the fly brain signal reward for short-term (STM) and long-term memories (LTM). One subset induces memory that decays within several hours, whereas the other induces memory that gradually develops after training. They convey reward signals to spatially segregated synaptic domains of the mushroom body (MB), a potential site for convergence. Furthermore, we identified a single type of dopamine neuron that conveys the reward signal to restricted subdomains of the mushroom body lobes and induces long-term memory. Constant appetitive memory retention after a single training session thus comprises two memory components triggered by distinct dopamine neurons. PMID:25548178

  12. Distinct dopamine neurons mediate reward signals for short- and long-term memories.

    PubMed

    Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Ichinose, Toshiharu; Aso, Yoshinori; Plaçais, Pierre-Yves; Friedrich, Anja B; Sima, Richard J; Preat, Thomas; Rubin, Gerald M; Tanimoto, Hiromu

    2015-01-13

    Drosophila melanogaster can acquire a stable appetitive olfactory memory when the presentation of a sugar reward and an odor are paired. However, the neuronal mechanisms by which a single training induces long-term memory are poorly understood. Here we show that two distinct subsets of dopamine neurons in the fly brain signal reward for short-term (STM) and long-term memories (LTM). One subset induces memory that decays within several hours, whereas the other induces memory that gradually develops after training. They convey reward signals to spatially segregated synaptic domains of the mushroom body (MB), a potential site for convergence. Furthermore, we identified a single type of dopamine neuron that conveys the reward signal to restricted subdomains of the mushroom body lobes and induces long-term memory. Constant appetitive memory retention after a single training session thus comprises two memory components triggered by distinct dopamine neurons. PMID:25548178

  13. Plausible improvements for selective targeting of dopamine receptors in therapy of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Luthra, Pratibha Mehta; Kumar, J B Senthil

    2012-12-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative condition characterized by progressive and profound loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta leading to the formation of eosinophillic, intracytoplamic, proteinacious inclusions termed as lewy bodies. L-dopa remains as a gold standard for the treatment of PD, and is often combined with carbidopa to reduce the dose-limiting side effects. Long-term levodopa treatment is associated with the development of motor fluctuations and peak dose dyskinesias. Dopamine Replacement Therapy (DRT) with dopamine agonists (DAs) (ropinirole and pramipexole) is used to manage complications of L-dopa treatment, however, has been associated with numerous pharmacovigilence reports. The present review attempts to narrate the multiple receptor interaction of DAs followed by the assessment of their side effects during the treatment of PD and possible remedial strategy for selective targeting of dopamine receptors to overcome these affects in therapy of Parkinson's disease. PMID:22697513

  14. Dopamine D4 Receptor Excitation of Lateral Habenula Neurons via Multiple Cellular Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Good, Cameron H.; Wang, Huikun; Chen, Yuan-Hao; Mejias-Aponte, Carlos A.; Hoffman, Alexander F.

    2013-01-01

    Glutamatergic lateral habenula (LHb) output communicates negative motivational valence to ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons via activation of the rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg). However, the LHb also receives a poorly understood DA input from the VTA, which we hypothesized constitutes an important feedback loop regulating DA responses to stimuli. Using whole-cell electrophysiology in rat brain slices, we find that DA initiates a depolarizing inward current (IDAi) and increases spontaneous firing in 32% of LHb neurons. IDAi was also observed upon application of amphetamine or the DA uptake blockers cocaine or GBR12935, indicating involvement of endogenous DA. IDAi was blocked by D4 receptor (D4R) antagonists (L745,870 or L741,742), and mimicked by a selective D4R agonist (A412997). IDAi was associated with increased whole-cell conductance and was blocked by Cs+ or a selective blocker of hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) ion channel, ZD7288. IDAi was also associated with a depolarizing shift in half-activation voltage for the hyperpolarization-activated cation current (Ih) mediated by HCN channels. Recordings from LHb neurons containing fluorescent retrograde tracers revealed that IDAi was observed only in cells projecting to the RMTg and not the VTA. In parallel with direct depolarization, DA also strongly increased synaptic glutamate release and reduced synaptic GABA release onto LHb cells. These results demonstrate that DA can excite glutamatergic LHb output to RMTg via multiple cellular mechanisms. Since the RMTg strongly inhibits midbrain DA neurons, activation of LHb output to RMTg by DA represents a negative feedback loop that may dampen DA neuron output following activation. PMID:24155292

  15. Significance of Plasma Dopamine β-Hydroxylase Activity as an Index of Sympathetic Neuronal Function

    PubMed Central

    Reid, John L.; Kopin, Irwin J.

    1974-01-01

    Plasma norepinephrine and dopamine β-hydroxylase (EC 1.14.17.1) activity were measured in rats. Adrenergic neuron blockade with bretylium for 4 hr and ganglion blockade with chlorisondamine for 72 hr lowered plasma norepinephrine. Neither treatment altered plasma dopamine β-hydroxylase activity. Phenoxybenzamine for up to 48 hr markedly raised plasma norepinephrine and transiently lowered plasma dopamine β-hydroxylase at 24 hr. Prolonged pharmacological modification of sympathetic nervous activity and plasma norepinephrine were not attended by parallel changes in circulating dopamine β-hydroxylase activity. Plasma dopamine β-hydroxylase activity does not appear to be a sensitive index of prolonged alterations in sympathetic neural activity. Norepinephrine in plasma, however, appears to reflect sensitively and accurately the rate of release of the neurotransmitter. PMID:4530990

  16. Tissue Specific Expression of Cre in Rat Tyrosine Hydroxylase and Dopamine Active Transporter-Positive Neurons.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhenyi; Brown, Andrew; Fisher, Dan; Wu, Yumei; Warren, Joe; Cui, Xiaoxia

    2016-01-01

    The rat is a preferred model system over the mouse for neurological studies, and cell type-specific Cre expression in the rat enables precise ablation of gene function in neurons of interest, which is especially valuable for neurodegenerative disease modeling and optogenetics. Yet, few such Cre rats are available. Here we report the characterization of two Cre rats, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-Cre and dopamine active transporter (DAT or Slc6a3)-Cre, by using a combination of immunohistochemistry (IHC) and mRNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) as well as a fluorescent reporter for Cre activity. We detected Cre expression in expected neurons in both Cre lines. Interestingly, we also found that in Th-Cre rats, but not DAT-Cre rats, Cre is expressed in female germ cells, allowing germline excision of the floxed allele and hence the generation of whole-body knockout rats. In summary, our data demonstrate that targeted integration of Cre cassette lead to faithful recapitulation of expression pattern of the endogenous promoter, and mRNA FISH, in addition to IHC, is an effective method for the analysis of the spatiotemporal gene expression patterns in the rat brain, alleviating the dependence on high quality antibodies that are often not available against rat proteins. The Th-Cre and the DAT-Cre rat lines express Cre in selective subsets of dopaminergic neurons and should be particularly useful for researches on Parkinson's disease. PMID:26886559

  17. Tissue Specific Expression of Cre in Rat Tyrosine Hydroxylase and Dopamine Active Transporter-Positive Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhenyi; Brown, Andrew; Fisher, Dan; Wu, Yumei; Warren, Joe; Cui, Xiaoxia

    2016-01-01

    The rat is a preferred model system over the mouse for neurological studies, and cell type-specific Cre expression in the rat enables precise ablation of gene function in neurons of interest, which is especially valuable for neurodegenerative disease modeling and optogenetics. Yet, few such Cre rats are available. Here we report the characterization of two Cre rats, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-Cre and dopamine active transporter (DAT or Slc6a3)-Cre, by using a combination of immunohistochemistry (IHC) and mRNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) as well as a fluorescent reporter for Cre activity. We detected Cre expression in expected neurons in both Cre lines. Interestingly, we also found that in Th-Cre rats, but not DAT-Cre rats, Cre is expressed in female germ cells, allowing germline excision of the floxed allele and hence the generation of whole-body knockout rats. In summary, our data demonstrate that targeted integration of Cre cassette lead to faithful recapitulation of expression pattern of the endogenous promoter, and mRNA FISH, in addition to IHC, is an effective method for the analysis of the spatiotemporal gene expression patterns in the rat brain, alleviating the dependence on high quality antibodies that are often not available against rat proteins. The Th-Cre and the DAT-Cre rat lines express Cre in selective subsets of dopaminergic neurons and should be particularly useful for researches on Parkinson’s disease. PMID:26886559

  18. TRPV1 on astrocytes rescues nigral dopamine neurons in Parkinson's disease via CNTF.

    PubMed

    Nam, Jin H; Park, Eun S; Won, So-Yoon; Lee, Yu A; Kim, Kyoung I; Jeong, Jae Y; Baek, Jeong Y; Cho, Eun J; Jin, Minyoung; Chung, Young C; Lee, Byoung D; Kim, Sung Hyun; Kim, Eung-Gook; Byun, Kyunghee; Lee, Bonghee; Woo, Dong Ho; Lee, C Justin; Kim, Sang R; Bok, Eugene; Kim, Yoon-Seong; Ahn, Tae-Beom; Ko, Hyuk Wan; Brahmachari, Saurav; Pletinkova, Olga; Troconso, Juan C; Dawson, Valina L; Dawson, Ted M; Jin, Byung K

    2015-12-01

    Currently there is no neuroprotective or neurorestorative therapy for Parkinson's disease. Here we report that transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) on astrocytes mediates endogenous production of ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), which prevents the active degeneration of dopamine neurons and leads to behavioural recovery through CNTF receptor alpha (CNTFRα) on nigral dopamine neurons in both the MPP(+)-lesioned or adeno-associated virus α-synuclein rat models of Parkinson's disease. Western blot and immunohistochemical analysis of human post-mortem substantia nigra from Parkinson's disease suggests that this endogenous neuroprotective system (TRPV1 and CNTF on astrocytes, and CNTFRα on dopamine neurons) might have relevance to human Parkinson's disease. Our results suggest that activation of astrocytic TRPV1 activates endogenous neuroprotective machinery in vivo and that it is a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. PMID:26490328

  19. Selective dopamine chemosensing using silver-enhanced fluorescence.

    PubMed

    Ganguly, Mainak; Mondal, Chanchal; Jana, Jayasmita; Pal, Anjali; Pal, Tarasankar

    2014-04-15

    Condensation product of salicylaldehyde and 1,3 propylenediamine becomes a diiminic Schiff base, which is oxidized by AgNO3 in alkaline solution, and in turn, stable Ag(0) is produced at room temperature. Under this condition, the solution exhibits intense silver nanoparticle enhanced fluorescence (SEF) with the λ(em) at 412 nm. Dopamine is selectively detected down to the nanomolar level via exclusive fluorescence quenching of the SEF. Dopamine-infested solution regains the fluorescence [i.e., SEF in the presence of Hg(II) ions]. Thus dopamine and Hg(II) in succession demonstrate "turn off/on" fluorescence due to the change in the scattering cross section of Ag(0) and gives a quantitative measure of dopamine in real samples. The proposed method is free from interferences of common biocompetitors. PMID:24650302

  20. Dopamine D1 and D2 Receptor Immunoreactivities in the Arcuate-Median Eminence Complex and their Link to the Tubero-Infundibular Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Romero-Fernandez, W.; Borroto-Escuela, D.O.; Vargas-Barroso, V.; Narváez, M.; Di Palma, M.; Agnati, L.F.; Sahd, J. Larriva

    2014-01-01

    Dopamine D1 and D2 receptor immunohistochemistry and Golgi techniques were used to study the structure of the adult rat arcuate-median eminence complex, and determine the distribution of the dopamine D1 and D2 receptor immunoreactivities therein, particularly in relation to the tubero-infundibular dopamine neurons. Punctate dopamine D1 and D2 receptor immunoreactivities, likely located on nerve terminals, were enriched in the lateral palisade zone built up of nerve terminals, while the densities were low to modest in the medial palisade zone. A codistribution of dopamine D1 receptor or dopamine D2 receptor immunoreactive puncta with tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive nerve terminals was demonstrated in the external layer. Dopamine D1 receptor but not dopamine D2 receptor immnunoreactivites nerve cell bodies were found in the ventromedial part of the arcuate nucleus and in the lateral part of the internal layer of the median eminence forming a continuous cell mass presumably representing neuropeptide Y immunoreactive nerve cell bodies. The major arcuate dopamine/ tyrosine hydroxylase nerve cell group was found in the dorsomedial part. A large number of tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive nerve cell bodies in this region demonstrated punctate dopamine D1 receptor immunoreactivity but only a few presented dopamine D2 receptor immunoreactivity which were mainly found in a substantial number of tyrosine hydroxylase cell bodies of the ventral periventricular hypothalamic nucleus, also belonging to the tuberoinfundibular dopamine neurons. Structural evidence for projections of the arcuate nerve cells into the median eminence was also obtained. Distal axons formed horizontal axons in the internal layer issuing a variable number of collaterals classified into single or multiple strands located in the external layer increasing our understanding of the dopamine nerve terminal networks in this region. Dopamine D1 and D2 receptors may therefore directly and differentially

  1. A glutamatergic reward input from the dorsal raphe to ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Jia; Zhang, Shiliang; Wang, Hui-Ling; Wang, Huikun; de Jesus Aceves Buendia, Jose; Hoffman, Alexander F.; Lupica, Carl R.; Seal, Rebecca P.; Morales, Marisela

    2014-01-01

    Electrical stimulation of the dorsal raphe (DR) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) activates the fibers of the same reward pathway but the phenotype of this pathway and the direction of the reward-relevant fibers have not been determined. Here we report rewarding effects following activation of a DR-originating pathway consisting of vesicular glutamate transporter 3 (VGluT3) containing neurons that form asymmetric synapses onto VTA dopamine neurons that project to nucleus accumbens. Optogenetic VTA activation of this projection elicits AMPA-mediated synaptic excitatory currents in VTA mesoaccumbens dopaminergic neurons and causes dopamine release innucleus accumbens. Activation also reinforces instrumental behavior and establishes conditioned place preferences. These findings indicate that the DR-VGluT3 pathway to VTA utilizes glutamate as a neurotransmitter and is a substrate linking the DR—one of the most sensitive reward sites in the brain—to VTA dopaminergic neurons. PMID:25388237

  2. Parkin Controls Dopamine Utilization in Human Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons Derived from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Houbo; Ren, Yong; Yuen, Eunice Y; Zhong, Ping; Ghaedi, Mahboobe; Hu, Zhixing; Azabdaftari, Gissou; Nakaso, Kazuhiro; Yan, Zhen; Feng, Jian

    2012-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is defined by the degeneration of nigral dopaminergic (DA) neurons and can be caused by monogenic mutations of genes such as parkin. The lack of phenotype in parkin knockout mice suggests that human nigral DA neurons have unique vulnerabilities. Through the generation and analyses of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from normal subjects and PD patients with parkin mutations, we show here that loss of parkin in human midbrain DA neurons greatly increased the transcription of monoamine oxidases and oxidative stress, significantly reduced DA uptake and increased spontaneous DA release. Lentiviral expression of parkin, but not its PD-linked mutant, rescued all the phenotypes. The results suggest that parkin controls dopamine utilization in human midbrain DA neurons by enhancing the precision of dopaminergic neurotransmission and suppressing dopamine oxidation. Thus, the study provides novel targets and a physiologically relevant screening platform for disease-modifying therapies of PD. PMID:22314364

  3. Parkin controls dopamine utilization in human midbrain dopaminergic neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Houbo; Ren, Yong; Yuen, Eunice Y; Zhong, Ping; Ghaedi, Mahboobe; Hu, Zhixing; Azabdaftari, Gissou; Nakaso, Kazuhiro; Yan, Zhen; Feng, Jian

    2012-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is defined by the degeneration of nigral dopaminergic (DA) neurons and can be caused by monogenic mutations of genes such as parkin. The lack of phenotype in parkin knockout mice suggests that human nigral DA neurons have unique vulnerabilities. Here we generate induced pluripotent stem cells from normal subjects and PD patients with parkin mutations. We demonstrate that loss of parkin in human midbrain DA neurons greatly increases the transcription of monoamine oxidases and oxidative stress, significantly reduces DA uptake and increases spontaneous DA release. Lentiviral expression of parkin, but not its PD-linked mutant, rescues these phenotypes. The results suggest that parkin controls dopamine utilization in human midbrain DA neurons by enhancing the precision of DA neurotransmission and suppressing dopamine oxidation. Thus, the study provides novel targets and a physiologically relevant screening platform for disease-modifying therapies of PD. PMID:22314364

  4. Activation of D2 dopamine receptor-expressing neurons in the nucleus accumbens increases motivation.

    PubMed

    Soares-Cunha, Carina; Coimbra, Barbara; David-Pereira, Ana; Borges, Sonia; Pinto, Luisa; Costa, Patricio; Sousa, Nuno; Rodrigues, Ana J

    2016-01-01

    Striatal dopamine receptor D1-expressing neurons have been classically associated with positive reinforcement and reward, whereas D2 neurons are associated with negative reinforcement and aversion. Here we demonstrate that the pattern of activation of D1 and D2 neurons in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) predicts motivational drive, and that optogenetic activation of either neuronal population enhances motivation in mice. Using a different approach in rats, we further show that activating NAc D2 neurons increases cue-induced motivational drive in control animals and in a model that presents anhedonia and motivational deficits; conversely, optogenetic inhibition of D2 neurons decreases motivation. Our results suggest that the classic view of D1-D2 functional antagonism does not hold true for all dimensions of reward-related behaviours, and that D2 neurons may play a more prominent pro-motivation role than originally anticipated. PMID:27337658

  5. Activation of D2 dopamine receptor-expressing neurons in the nucleus accumbens increases motivation

    PubMed Central

    Soares-Cunha, Carina; Coimbra, Barbara; David-Pereira, Ana; Borges, Sonia; Pinto, Luisa; Costa, Patricio; Sousa, Nuno; Rodrigues, Ana J.

    2016-01-01

    Striatal dopamine receptor D1-expressing neurons have been classically associated with positive reinforcement and reward, whereas D2 neurons are associated with negative reinforcement and aversion. Here we demonstrate that the pattern of activation of D1 and D2 neurons in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) predicts motivational drive, and that optogenetic activation of either neuronal population enhances motivation in mice. Using a different approach in rats, we further show that activating NAc D2 neurons increases cue-induced motivational drive in control animals and in a model that presents anhedonia and motivational deficits; conversely, optogenetic inhibition of D2 neurons decreases motivation. Our results suggest that the classic view of D1–D2 functional antagonism does not hold true for all dimensions of reward-related behaviours, and that D2 neurons may play a more prominent pro-motivation role than originally anticipated. PMID:27337658

  6. Midbrain dopamine neurons reflect affiliation phenotypes in finches and are tightly coupled to courtship.

    PubMed

    Goodson, James L; Kabelik, David; Kelly, Aubrey M; Rinaldi, Jacob; Klatt, James D

    2009-05-26

    Mesolimbic dopamine (DA) circuits mediate a wide range of goal-oriented behavioral processes, and DA strongly influences appetitive and consummatory aspects of male sexual behavior. In both birds and mammals, mesolimbic projections arise primarily from the ventral tegmental area (VTA), with a smaller contribution from the midbrain central gray (CG). Despite the well known importance of the VTA cell group for incentive motivation functions, relationships of VTA subpopulations to specific aspects of social phenotype remain wholly undescribed. We now show that in male zebra finches (Estrildidae: Taeniopygia guttata), Fos activity within a subpopulation of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive (TH-ir; presumably dopaminergic) neurons in the caudal VTA is significantly correlated with courtship singing and coupled to gonadal state. In addition, the number of TH-ir neurons in this caudal subpopulation dichotomously differentiates courting from non-courting male phenotypes, and evolves in relation to sociality (flocking vs. territorial) across several related finch species. Combined, these findings for the VTA suggest that divergent social phenotypes may arise due to the differential assignment of "incentive value" to conspecific stimuli. TH-ir neurons of the CG (a population of unknown function in mammals) exhibit properties that are even more selectively and tightly coupled to the expression of courtship phenotypes (and appetitive courtship singing), both in terms of TH-ir cell number, which correlates significantly with constitutive levels of courtship motivation, and with TH-Fos colocalization, which increases in direct proportion to the phasic expression of song. We propose that these neurons may be core components of social communication circuits across diverse vertebrate taxa. PMID:19439662

  7. PTEN deletion enhances survival, neurite outgrowth and function of dopamine neuron grafts to MitoPark mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, YaJun; Granholm, Ann-Charlotte; Huh, Kyounghee; Shan, Lufei; Diaz-Ruiz, Oscar; Malik, Nasir; Olson, Lars; Hoffer, Barry J; Lupica, Carl R; Hoffman, Alexander F; Bäckman, Cristina M

    2012-09-01

    Clinical trials in Parkinson's disease have shown that transplants of embryonic mesencephalic dopamine neurons form new functional connections within the host striatum, but the therapeutic benefits have been highly variable. One obstacle has been poor survival and integration of grafted dopamine neurons. Activation of Akt, a serine/threonine kinase that promotes cell survival and growth, increases the ability of neurons to survive after injury and to regenerate lost neuronal connections. Because the lipid phosphatase, phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) inhibits Akt, we generated a mouse with conditional knock-out of PTEN in dopamine neurons, leading to constitutive expression of Akt in these neurons. Ventral mesencephalic tissue from dopamine phosphatase and tensin homologue knock-out or control animals was then transplanted bilaterally into the dopamine depleted striata of MitoPark mice that express a parkinsonian phenotype because of severe respiratory chain dysfunction in dopamine neurons. After transplantation into MitoPark mice, PTEN-deficient dopamine neurons were less susceptible to cell death, and exhibited a more extensive pattern of fibre outgrowth compared to control grafts. Voltammetric measurements demonstrated that dopamine release and reuptake were significantly increased in the striata of animals receiving dopamine PTEN knock-out transplants. These animals also displayed enhanced spontaneous and drug-induced locomotor activity, relative to control transplanted MitoPark mice. Our results suggest that disinhibition of the Akt-signalling pathway may provide a valuable strategy to enhance survival, function and integration of grafted dopamine neurons within the host striatum and, more generally, to improve survival and integration of different forms of neural grafts. PMID:22961549

  8. PTEN deletion enhances survival, neurite outgrowth and function of dopamine neuron grafts to MitoPark mice

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, YaJun; Granholm, Ann-Charlotte; Huh, Kyounghee; Shan, Lufei; Diaz-Ruiz, Oscar; Malik, Nasir; Olson, Lars; Hoffer, Barry J.; Lupica, Carl R.; Hoffman, Alexander F.

    2012-01-01

    Clinical trials in Parkinson’s disease have shown that transplants of embryonic mesencephalic dopamine neurons form new functional connections within the host striatum, but the therapeutic benefits have been highly variable. One obstacle has been poor survival and integration of grafted dopamine neurons. Activation of Akt, a serine/threonine kinase that promotes cell survival and growth, increases the ability of neurons to survive after injury and to regenerate lost neuronal connections. Because the lipid phosphatase, phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) inhibits Akt, we generated a mouse with conditional knock-out of PTEN in dopamine neurons, leading to constitutive expression of Akt in these neurons. Ventral mesencephalic tissue from dopamine phosphatase and tensin homologue knock-out or control animals was then transplanted bilaterally into the dopamine depleted striata of MitoPark mice that express a parkinsonian phenotype because of severe respiratory chain dysfunction in dopamine neurons. After transplantation into MitoPark mice, PTEN-deficient dopamine neurons were less susceptible to cell death, and exhibited a more extensive pattern of fibre outgrowth compared to control grafts. Voltammetric measurements demonstrated that dopamine release and reuptake were significantly increased in the striata of animals receiving dopamine PTEN knock-out transplants. These animals also displayed enhanced spontaneous and drug-induced locomotor activity, relative to control transplanted MitoPark mice. Our results suggest that disinhibition of the Akt-signalling pathway may provide a valuable strategy to enhance survival, function and integration of grafted dopamine neurons within the host striatum and, more generally, to improve survival and integration of different forms of neural grafts. PMID:22961549

  9. Neurotrophic effects of L-DOPA in postnatal midbrain dopamine neuron/cortical astrocyte cocultures.

    PubMed

    Mena, M A; Davila, V; Sulzer, D

    1997-10-01

    L-DOPA is toxic to catecholamine neurons in culture, but the toxicity is reduced by exposure to astrocytes. We tested the effect of L-DOPA on dopamine neurons using postnatal ventral midbrain neuron/cortical astrocyte cocultures in serum-free, glia-conditioned medium. L-DOPA (50 microM) protected against dopamine neuronal cell death and increased the number and branching of dopamine processes. In contrast to embryonically derived glia-free cultures, where L-DOPA is toxic, postnatal midbrain cultures did not show toxicity at 200 microM L-DOPA. The stereoisomer D-DOPA (50-400 microM) was not neurotrophic. The aromatic amino acid decarboxylase inhibitor carbidopa (25 microM) did not block the neurotrophic effect. These data suggest that the neurotrophic effect of L-DOPA is stereospecific but independent of the production of dopamine. However, L-DOPA increased the level of glutathione. Inhibition of glutathione peroxidase by L-buthionine sulfoximine (3 microM for 24 h) blocked the neurotrophic action of L-DOPA. N-Acetyl-L-cysteine (250 microM for 48 h), which promotes glutathione synthesis, had a neurotrophic effect similar to that of L-DOPA. These data suggest that the neurotrophic effect of L-DOPA may be mediated, at least in part, by elevation of glutathione content. PMID:9326268

  10. Transient receptor potential-like channels mediate metabotropic glutamate receptor EPSCs in rat dopamine neurones.

    PubMed

    Bengtson, C Peter; Tozzi, Alessandro; Bernardi, Giorgio; Mercuri, Nicola B

    2004-03-01

    Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels form cationic channels activated by diverse factors including mechanical stimuli, changes in osmolarity, pH and temperature, as well as the exogenous irritant, capsaicin. Metabotropic glutamate receptors have also recently been linked to TRP channel activation in neurones of the substantia nigra, hippocampus and cerebellum, suggesting a novel role for such channels in synaptic communication via endogenous neurotransmitters. We tested this for dopamine neurones in rat brain slices by characterizing the current-voltage relationship and pharmacology of EPSCs mediated by group I metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 1 (mGluR1). Slow inward currents (273 +/- 35 pA peak amplitude, 381 +/- 25 ms latency, holding potential (V(h)) =-73 mV) representing evoked mGluR1 EPSCs were isolated in the presence of antagonists of AMPA, NMDA, GABA(A), GABA(B), muscarinic and glycine receptors. CPCCOEt (100 microM), an mGluR1 antagonist, blocked the residual EPSC in all recordings. mGluR1-activated EPSCs reversed polarity near -10 mV, consistent with the involvement of a cationic channel. Extracellular application of the non-selective TRP channel blockers SKF 96365, flufenamic acid and ruthenium red caused reversible inhibition of mGluR1-activated EPSCs. These characteristics parallel those of mGluR1 activation with an agonist and indicate the involvement of a TRP-like channel in mGluR1-mediated EPSCs. PMID:14724196

  11. The A9 dopamine neuron component in grafts of ventral mesencephalon is an important determinant for recovery of motor function in a rat model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Grealish, Shane; Jönsson, Marie E; Li, Meng; Kirik, Deniz; Björklund, Anders; Thompson, Lachlan H

    2010-02-01

    Grafts of foetal ventral mesencephalon, used in cell replacement therapy for Parkinson's disease, are known to contain a mix of dopamine neuronal subtypes including the A9 neurons of the substantia nigra and the A10 neurons of the ventral tegmental area. However, the relative importance of these subtypes for functional repair of the brain affected by Parkinson's disease has not been studied thoroughly. Here, we report results from a series of grafting experiments where the anatomical and functional properties of grafts either selectively lacking in A9 neurons, or with a typical A9/A10 composition were compared. The results show that the A9 component of intrastriatal grafts is of critical importance for recovery in tests on motor performance, in a rodent model of Parkinson's disease. Analysis at the histological level indicates that this is likely to be due to the unique ability of A9 neurons to innervate and functionally activate their target structure, the dorsolateral region of the host striatum. The findings highlight dopamine neuronal subtype composition as a potentially important parameter to monitor in order to understand the variable nature of functional outcome better in transplantation studies. Furthermore, the results have interesting implications for current efforts in this field to generate well-characterized and standardized preparations of transplantable dopamine neuronal progenitors from stem cells. PMID:20123725

  12. Neurotensin Induces Presynaptic Depression of D2 Dopamine Autoreceptor-Mediated Neurotransmission in Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Piccart, Elisabeth; Courtney, Nicholas A.; Branch, Sarah Y.; Ford, Christopher P.

    2015-01-01

    Increased dopaminergic signaling is a hallmark of severe mesencephalic pathologies such as schizophrenia and psychostimulant abuse. Activity of midbrain dopaminergic neurons is under strict control of inhibitory D2 autoreceptors. Application of the modulatory peptide neurotensin (NT) to midbrain dopaminergic neurons transiently increases activity by decreasing D2 dopamine autoreceptor function, yet little is known about the mechanisms that underlie long-lasting effects. Here, we performed patch-clamp electrophysiology and fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in mouse brain slices to determine the effects of NT on dopamine autoreceptor-mediated neurotransmission. Application of the active peptide fragment NT8–13 produced synaptic depression that exhibited short- and long-term components. Sustained depression of D2 autoreceptor signaling required activation of the type 2 NT receptor and the protein phosphatase calcineurin. NT application increased paired-pulse ratios and decreased extracellular levels of somatodendritic dopamine, consistent with a decrease in presynaptic dopamine release. Surprisingly, we observed that electrically induced long-term depression of dopaminergic neurotransmission that we reported previously was also dependent on type 2 NT receptors and calcineurin. Because electrically induced depression, but not NT-induced depression, was blocked by postsynaptic calcium chelation, our findings suggest that endogenous NT may act through a local circuit to decrease presynaptic dopamine release. The current research provides a mechanism through which augmented NT release can produce a long-lasting increase in membrane excitability of midbrain dopamine neurons. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Whereas plasticity of glutamate synapses in the brain has been studied extensively, demonstrations of plasticity at dopaminergic synapses have been more elusive. By quantifying inhibitory neurotransmission between midbrain dopaminergic neurons in brain slices from mice we have

  13. Four Individually Identified Paired Dopamine Neurons Signal Reward in Larval Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Rohwedder, Astrid; Wenz, Nana L; Stehle, Bernhard; Huser, Annina; Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Zlatic, Marta; Truman, James W; Tanimoto, Hiromu; Saumweber, Timo; Gerber, Bertram; Thum, Andreas S

    2016-03-01

    Dopaminergic neurons serve multiple functions, including reinforcement processing during associative learning [1-12]. It is thus warranted to understand which dopaminergic neurons mediate which function. We study larval Drosophila, in which only approximately 120 of a total of 10,000 neurons are dopaminergic, as judged by the expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme of dopamine biosynthesis [5, 13]. Dopaminergic neurons mediating reinforcement in insect olfactory learning target the mushroom bodies, a higher-order "cortical" brain region [1-5, 11, 12, 14, 15]. We discover four previously undescribed paired neurons, the primary protocerebral anterior medial (pPAM) neurons. These neurons are TH positive and subdivide the medial lobe of the mushroom body into four distinct subunits. These pPAM neurons are acutely necessary for odor-sugar reward learning and require intact TH function in this process. However, they are dispensable for aversive learning and innate behavior toward the odors and sugars employed. Optogenetical activation of pPAM neurons is sufficient as a reward. Thus, the pPAM neurons convey a likely dopaminergic reward signal. In contrast, DL1 cluster neurons convey a corresponding punishment signal [5], suggesting a cellular division of labor to convey dopaminergic reward and punishment signals. On the level of individually identified neurons, this uncovers an organizational principle shared with adult Drosophila and mammals [1-4, 7, 9, 10] (but see [6]). The numerical simplicity and connectomic tractability of the larval nervous system [16-19] now offers a prospect for studying circuit principles of dopamine function at unprecedented resolution. PMID:26877086

  14. Representation of spontaneous movement by dopaminergic neurons is cell-type selective and disrupted in parkinsonism.

    PubMed

    Dodson, Paul D; Dreyer, Jakob K; Jennings, Katie A; Syed, Emilie C J; Wade-Martins, Richard; Cragg, Stephanie J; Bolam, J Paul; Magill, Peter J

    2016-04-12

    Midbrain dopaminergic neurons are essential for appropriate voluntary movement, as epitomized by the cardinal motor impairments arising in Parkinson's disease. Understanding the basis of such motor control requires understanding how the firing of different types of dopaminergic neuron relates to movement and how this activity is deciphered in target structures such as the striatum. By recording and labeling individual neurons in behaving mice, we show that the representation of brief spontaneous movements in the firing of identified midbrain dopaminergic neurons is cell-type selective. Most dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc), but not in ventral tegmental area or substantia nigra pars lateralis, consistently represented the onset of spontaneous movements with a pause in their firing. Computational modeling revealed that the movement-related firing of these dopaminergic neurons can manifest as rapid and robust fluctuations in striatal dopamine concentration and receptor activity. The exact nature of the movement-related signaling in the striatum depended on the type of dopaminergic neuron providing inputs, the striatal region innervated, and the type of dopamine receptor expressed by striatal neurons. Importantly, in aged mice harboring a genetic burden relevant for human Parkinson's disease, the precise movement-related firing of SNc dopaminergic neurons and the resultant striatal dopamine signaling were lost. These data show that distinct dopaminergic cell types differentially encode spontaneous movement and elucidate how dysregulation of their firing in early Parkinsonism can impair their effector circuits. PMID:27001837

  15. Effect of exercise on dopamine neuron survival in prenatally stressed rats.

    PubMed

    Mabandla, Musa V; Kellaway, Lauriston A; Daniels, William M U; Russell, Vivienne A

    2009-12-01

    Prenatal stress has been associated with increased vulnerability to psychiatric disturbances including schizophrenia, depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism. Elevated maternal circulating stress hormones alter development of neural circuits in the fetal brain and cause long-term changes in behaviour. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether mild prenatal stress increases the vulnerability of dopamine neurons in adulthood. A low dose of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA, 5 microg/4 microl saline) was unilaterally infused into the medial forebrain bundle of nerve fibres in the rat brain in order to create a partial lesion of dopamine neurons which was sufficient to cause subtle behavioural deficits associated with early onset of Parkinson's disease without complete destruction of dopamine neurons. Voluntary exercise appeared to have a neuroprotective effect resulting in an improvement in motor control and decreased asymmetry in the use of left and right forelimbs to explore a novel environment as well as decreased asymmetry of tyrosine hydroxylase-positive cells in the substantia nigra pars compacta and decreased dopamine cell loss in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats. Prenatal stress appeared to enhance the toxic effect of 6-OHDA possibly by reducing the compensatory adaptations to exercise. PMID:19844780

  16. Midbrain dopamine neurons compute inferred and cached value prediction errors in a common framework

    PubMed Central

    Sadacca, Brian F; Jones, Joshua L; Schoenbaum, Geoffrey

    2016-01-01

    Midbrain dopamine neurons have been proposed to signal reward prediction errors as defined in temporal difference (TD) learning algorithms. While these models have been extremely powerful in interpreting dopamine activity, they typically do not use value derived through inference in computing errors. This is important because much real world behavior – and thus many opportunities for error-driven learning – is based on such predictions. Here, we show that error-signaling rat dopamine neurons respond to the inferred, model-based value of cues that have not been paired with reward and do so in the same framework as they track the putative cached value of cues previously paired with reward. This suggests that dopamine neurons access a wider variety of information than contemplated by standard TD models and that, while their firing conforms to predictions of TD models in some cases, they may not be restricted to signaling errors from TD predictions. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13665.001 PMID:26949249

  17. Long-term survival of dopamine neurons derived from parthenogenetic primate embryonic stem cells (cyno-1) after transplantation.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Pernaute, Rosario; Studer, Lorenz; Ferrari, Daniela; Perrier, Anselme; Lee, Hyojin; Viñuela, Angel; Isacson, Ole

    2005-08-01

    Dopamine (DA) neurons can be derived from human and primate embryonic stem (ES) cells in vitro. An ES cell-based replacement therapy for patients with Parkinson's disease requires that in vitro-generated neurons maintain their phenotype in vivo. Other critical issues relate to their proliferative capacity and risk of tumor formation, and the capability of migration and integration in the adult mammalian brain. Neural induction was achieved by coculture of primate parthenogenetic ES cells (Cyno-1) with stromal cells, followed by sequential exposure to midbrain patterning and differentiation factors to favor DA phenotypic specification. Differentiated ES cells were treated with mitomycin C and transplanted into adult immunosuppressed rodents and into a primate (allograft) with out immunosuppression. A small percentage of DA neurons survived in both rodent and primate hosts for the entire term of the study (4 and 7 months, respectively). Other neuronal and glial populations derived from Cyno-1 ES cells showed, in vivo, phenotypic characteristics and growth and migration patterns similar to fetal primate transplants, and a majority of cells (>80%) expressed the forebrain transcription factor brain factor 1. No teratoma formation was observed. In this study, we demonstrate long-term survival of DA neurons obtained in vitro from primate ES cells. Optimization of differentiation, cell selection, and cell transfer is required for functional studies of ES-derived DA neurons for future therapeutic applications. PMID:15941857

  18. VGLUT2 in dopamine neurons is required for psychostimulant-induced behavioral activation

    PubMed Central

    Birgner, Carolina; Nordenankar, Karin; Lundblad, Martin; Mendez, José Alfredo; Smith, Casey; le Grevès, Madeleine; Galter, Dagmar; Olson, Lars; Fredriksson, Anders; Trudeau, Louis-Eric; Kullander, Klas; Wallén-Mackenzie, Åsa

    2009-01-01

    The “One neuron-one neurotransmitter” concept has been challenged frequently during the last three decades, and the coexistence of neurotransmitters in individual neurons is now regarded as a common phenomenon. The functional significance of neurotransmitter coexistence is, however, less well understood. Several studies have shown that a subpopulation of dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) expresses the vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2) and has been suggested to use glutamate as a cotransmitter. The VTA dopamine neurons project to limbic structures including the nucleus accumbens, and are involved in mediating the motivational and locomotor activating effects of psychostimulants. To determine the functional role of glutamate cotransmission by these neurons, we deleted VGLUT2 in DA neurons by using a conditional gene-targeting approach in mice. A DAT-Cre/Vglut2Lox mouse line (Vglut2f/f;DAT-Cre mice) was produced and analyzed by in vivo amperometry as well as by several behavioral paradigms. Although basal motor function was normal in the Vglut2f/f;DAT-Cre mice, their risk-taking behavior was altered. Interestingly, in both home-cage and novel environments, the gene targeted mice showed a greatly blunted locomotor response to the psychostimulant amphetamine, which acts via the midbrain DA system. Our results show that VGLUT2 expression in DA neurons is required for normal emotional reactivity as well as for psychostimulant-mediated behavioral activation. PMID:20018672

  19. Generation of Dopamine Neurons from Rodent Fibroblasts through the Expandable Neural Precursor Cell Stage*

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Mi-Sun; Chang, Mi-Yoon; Kim, Sang-Mi; Yi, Sang-Hoon; Suh-Kim, Haeyoung; Jung, Sung Jun; Kim, Min Jung; Kim, Jin Hyuk; Lee, Yong-Sung; Lee, Soo Young; Kim, Dong-Wook; Lee, Sang-Hun; Park, Chang-Hwan

    2015-01-01

    Recent groundbreaking work has demonstrated that combined expression of the transcription factors Brn2, Ascl1, and Myt1L (BAM; also known as Wernig factors) convert mouse fibroblasts into postmitotic neuronal cells. However, questions remain regarding whether trans-conversion is achieved directly or involves an intermediary precursor stage. Trans-conversion toward expandable neural precursor cells (NPCs) is more useful than direct one-step neuron formation with respect to yielding a sufficient number of cells and the feasibility of manipulating NPC differentiation toward certain neuron subtypes. Here, we show that co-expression of Wernig factors and Bcl-xL induces fibroblast conversion into NPCs (induced NPCs (iNPCs)) that are highly expandable for >100 passages. Gene expression analyses showed that the iNPCs exhibited high expression of common NPC genes but not genes specific to defined embryonic brain regions. This finding indicated that a regional identity of iNPCs was not established. Upon induction, iNPCs predominantly differentiated into astrocytes. However, the differentiation potential was not fixed and could be efficiently manipulated into general or specific subtypes of neurons by expression of additional genes. Specifically, overexpression of Nurr1 and Foxa2, transcription factors specific for midbrain dopamine neuron development, drove iNPCs to yield mature midbrain dopamine neurons equipped with presynaptic DA neuronal functions. We further assessed the therapeutic potential of iNPCs in Parkinson disease model rats. PMID:26023233

  20. Phenotypical characterization of the rat striatal neurons expressing the D1 dopamine receptor gene.

    PubMed Central

    Le Moine, C; Normand, E; Bloch, B

    1991-01-01

    In situ hybridization experiments were performed in rat brain sections from normal and 6-hydroxydopamine-treated rats in order to map and identify the neurons expressing the D1 receptor gene in the striatum and the substantia nigra. Procedures of combined in situ hybridization, allowing the simultaneous detection of two mRNAs in the same section or in adjacent sections, were used to characterize the phenotypes of the neurons expressing the D1 receptor gene. D1 receptor mRNA was found in neurons all over the caudate-putamen, the accumbens nucleus, and the olfactory tubercle but not in the substantia nigra. In the caudate-putamen and accumbens nucleus, most of the neurons containing D1 receptor mRNA were characterized as medium-sized substance P neurons and distinct from those containing D2 receptor mRNA. Nevertheless, 15-20% of the substance P neurons did not contain D1 receptor mRNA. The neurons containing preproenkephalin A mRNA did not contain D1 receptor mRNA but contained D2 receptor mRNA. A small number of cholinergic and somatostatinergic neurons exhibited a weak reaction for D1 receptor mRNA. These results demonstrate that dopamine acts on efferent striatal neurons through expression of distinct receptors--namely, D1 and D2 in separate cell populations (substance P and preproenkephalin A neurons, respectively)--and can also act on nonprojecting neurons through D1 receptor expression. Images PMID:1827915

  1. Dopamine alters AMPA receptor synaptic expression and subunit composition in dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area cultured with prefrontal cortex neurons.

    PubMed

    Gao, Can; Wolf, Marina E

    2007-12-26

    Excitatory synapses onto dopamine (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) represent a critical site of psychostimulant-induced synaptic plasticity. This plasticity involves alterations in synaptic strength through AMPA receptor (AMPAR) redistribution. Here, we report an in vitro model for studying regulation of AMPAR trafficking in DA neurons under control conditions and after elevation of DA levels, mimicking cocaine exposure. We used cocultures containing rat VTA neurons and prefrontal cortex (PFC) neurons from enhanced cyan fluorescent protein-expressing mice. In VTA-PFC cocultures, D1 receptor activation (10 min) increased synaptic and nonsynaptic glutamate receptor subunit 1 (GluR1) and GluR2 surface expression on DA neurons. NMDA or AMPA receptor antagonists blocked this effect, and it was not observed in pure VTA cultures, suggesting that DA agonists acted on D1 receptors on PFC neurons, altering their excitatory transmission onto VTA DA neurons and, thus, influencing AMPARs. To mimic the longer elevation in extracellular DA levels produced by systemic cocaine, cocultures were incubated with DA for 1 h. Synaptic GluR1 was increased 24 h later, reminiscent of the increased AMPA/NMDA ratio at excitatory synapses onto VTA DA neurons 24 h after cocaine injection (Ungless et al., 2001). In contrast, GluR2 was unchanged. Analysis of colocalization of surface GluR1-3 labeling suggested that control DA neurons express a substantial number of GluR1/2, GluR2/3, and homomeric GluR1 receptors and that the increase in surface AMPARs 24 h after DA exposure may in part reflect increased GluR1/3-containing receptors. These results help define the cellular basis for plasticity underlying the development of behavioral sensitization. PMID:18160635

  2. Metabotropic glutamate receptors depress glutamate-mediated synaptic input to rat midbrain dopamine neurones in vitro.

    PubMed

    Wigmore, M A; Lacey, M G

    1998-02-01

    1. Glutamate (AMPA receptor-mediated) excitatory postsynaptic potentials (e.p.s.ps.), evoked by electrical stimulation rostral to the recording site, were examined by intracellular microelectrode recording from dopamine neurones in parasagittal slices of rat ventral midbrain. 2. The e.p.s.p. was depressed by the group III metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptor agonist L-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid (L-AP4; 0.01-30 microM) by up to 60% with an EC50 of 0.82 microM. The depression induced by L-AP4 (3 microM) was reversed by the group III preferring mGlu receptor antagonist, alpha-methyl-4-phosphonophenylglycine (MPPG; 250 microM). 3. The group I and II mGlu agonist, 1S,3R-aminocyclopentanedicarboxylic acid (ACPD; 3-30 microM) also depressed the e.p.s.p. in a concentration-dependent manner. The effect of ACPD (10 microM) was reversed by (+)-alpha-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine (MCPG; 1 mM; 4 cells). This effect of ACPD was also partially antagonized (by 50.3+/-15.7%, 4 cells) by MPPG (250 microM). 4. The selective agonist at group I mGlu receptors, dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG; 100 microM), decreased e.p.s.p. amplitude by 27.1+/-8.2% (7 cells), as did the group II mGlu receptor-selective agonist (1S,1R,2'R,3'R)-2-(2,3-dicarboxycyclopropyl)glycine (DCG-IV; 1 microM) by 26.7+/-4.3% (5 cells). 5. DHPG (10-100 microM) caused a depolarization of the recorded cell, as did ACPD (3-30 microM), whereas no such postsynaptic effect of either L-AP4 or DCG-IV was observed. 6. These results provide evidence for the presence of presynaptic inhibitory metabotropic glutamate autoreceptors from the mGlu receptor groups II and III on descending glutamatergic inputs to midbrain dopamine neurones. Group I mGlu receptors mediate a postsynaptic depolarization, and can also depress glutamatergic transmission, but may not necessarily be localized presynaptically. These sites represent novel drug targets for treatment of schizophrenia and movement disorders of basal ganglia origin. PMID

  3. Metabotropic glutamate receptors depress glutamate-mediated synaptic input to rat midbrain dopamine neurones in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Wigmore, Mark A; Lacey, Michael G

    1998-01-01

    Glutamate (AMPA receptor-mediated) excitatory postsynaptic potentials (e.p.s.ps.), evoked by electrical stimulation rostral to the recording site, were examined by intracellular microelectrode recording from dopamine neurones in parasagittal slices of rat ventral midbrain. The e.p.s.p. was depressed by the group III metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptor agonist L-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid (L-AP4; 0.01–30 μM) by up to 60% with an EC50 of 0.82 μM. The depression induced by L-AP4 (3 μM) was reversed by the group III preferring mGlu receptor antagonist, α-methyl-4-phosphonophenylglycine (MPPG; 250 μM). The group I and II mGlu agonist, 1S,3R-aminocyclopentanedicarboxylic acid (ACPD; 3–30 μM) also depressed the e.p.s.p. in a concentration-dependent manner. The effect of ACPD (10 μM) was reversed by (+)-α-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine (MCPG; 1 mM; 4 cells). This effect of ACPD was also partially antagonized (by 50.3±15.7%, 4 cells) by MPPG (250 μM). The selective agonist at group I mGlu receptors, dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG; 100 μM), decreased e.p.s.p. amplitude by 27.1±8.2% (7 cells), as did the group II mGlu receptor-selective agonist (1S,1′R,2′R,3′R)-2-(2,3-dicarboxycyclopropyl)glycine (DCG-IV; 1 μM) by 26.7±4.3% (5 cells). DHPG (10–100 μM) caused a depolarization of the recorded cell, as did ACPD (3–30 μM), whereas no such postsynaptic effect of either L-AP4 or DCG-IV was observed. These results provide evidence for the presence of presynaptic inhibitory metabotropic glutamate autoreceptors from the mGlu receptor groups II and III on descending glutamatergic inputs to midbrain dopamine neurones. Group I mGlu receptors mediate a postsynaptic depolarization, and can also depress glutamatergic transmission, but may not necessarily be localized presynaptically. These sites represent novel drug targets for treatment of schizophrenia and movement disorders of basal ganglia origin. PMID:9517386

  4. Characterization of dopamine D1 and D2 receptor-expressing neurons in the mouse hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Gangarossa, Giuseppe; Longueville, Sophie; De Bundel, Dimitri; Perroy, Julie; Hervé, Denis; Girault, Jean-Antoine; Valjent, Emmanuel

    2012-12-01

    The hippocampal formation is part of an anatomical system critically involved in learning and memory. Increasing evidence suggests that dopamine plays an important role in learning and memory as well as in several forms of synaptic plasticity. However, the precise identification of neuronal populations expressing D1 or D2 dopamine receptors within the hippocampus is still lacking. To clarify this issue, we used BAC transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) under the control of the promoter of dopamine D1 or D2 receptors. In Drd1a-EGFP mice, sparse GFP-expressing neurons were detected among glutamatergic projecting neurons of the granular layer of the dentate gyrus and GABAergic interneurons located in the hilus. A dense immunofluorescence was observed in the outer and medial part of the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus as well as in the inner part of the molecular layer of CA1 corresponding to the terminals of pyramidal neurons of the entorhinal cortex defining the perforant and the temporo-ammonic pathway respectively. Finally, scattered D1 receptor-expressing neurons were also identified as GABAergic interneurons in the CA3/CA1 fields of the hippocampus. In Drd2-EGFP transgenic mice, GFP was exclusively detected in the glutamatergic mossy cells located in the polymorphic layer of the dentate gyrus. This pattern was confirmed in Drd2-Cre mice crossed with NLS-LacZ-Tau(mGFP) :LoxP and RCE:LoxP reporter lines. Our results demonstrate that D1 and D2 receptor-expressing neurons are strictly segregated in the mouse hippocampus. By clarifying the identity of D1 and D2 receptor-expressing neurons in the hippocampus, this study establishes a basis for future investigations aiming at elucidating their roles in the hippocampal network. PMID:22777829

  5. DIETARY SUPPLEMENTATION WITH BLUEBERRY EXTRACTS IMPROVES THE SURVIVAL AND FUNCTION OF GRAFTED EMBRYONIC DOPAMINE NEURONS IN RATS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Transplantation of embryonic dopamine (DA) neurons into the striatum is a viable treatment for Parkinson's disease (PD). However, transplanted cells survive poorly. This study provides evidence that dietary supplementation with blueberry extract (BBE) provides an efficacious, easily administered a...

  6. Dose-dependent changes in the synaptic strength on dopamine neurons and locomotor activity after cocaine exposure

    PubMed Central

    Wanat, M.J.; Bonci, A.

    2016-01-01

    Changes in synaptic strength on ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons are thought to play a critical role in the development of addiction-related behaviors. However, it is unknown how a single injection of cocaine at different doses affects locomotor activity, behavioral sensitization, and glutamatergic synaptic strength on VTA dopamine neurons in mice. We observed that behavioral sensitization to a challenge cocaine injection scaled with the dose of cocaine received one day prior. Interestingly, the locomotor activity after the initial exposure to different doses of cocaine corresponded to the changes in glutamatergic strength on VTA dopamine neurons. These results in mice suggest that a single exposure to cocaine dose-dependently affects excitatory synapses on VTA dopamine neurons, and that this acute synaptic alteration is directly associated with the locomotor responses to cocaine and not to behavioral sensitization. PMID:18655120

  7. Competing dopamine neurons drive oviposition choice for ethanol in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Azanchi, Reza; Kaun, Karla R; Heberlein, Ulrike

    2013-12-24

    The neural circuits that mediate behavioral choice evaluate and integrate information from the environment with internal demands and then initiate a behavioral response. Even circuits that support simple decisions remain poorly understood. In Drosophila melanogaster, oviposition on a substrate containing ethanol enhances fitness; however, little is known about the neural mechanisms mediating this important choice behavior. Here, we characterize the neural modulation of this simple choice and show that distinct subsets of dopaminergic neurons compete to either enhance or inhibit egg-laying preference for ethanol-containing food. Moreover, activity in α'β' neurons of the mushroom body and a subset of ellipsoid body ring neurons (R2) is required for this choice. We propose a model where competing dopaminergic systems modulate oviposition preference to adjust to changes in natural oviposition substrates. PMID:24324162

  8. Direct intranigral injection of dopaminochrome causes degeneration of dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Touchette, Jillienne C; Breckenridge, Julie M; Wilken, Gerald H; Macarthur, Heather

    2016-01-26

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by progressive neurodegeneration of nigrastriatal dopaminergic neurons leading to clinical motor dysfunctions. Many animal models of PD have been developed using exogenous neurotoxins and pesticides. Evidence strongly indicates that the dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) are highly susceptible to neurodegeneration due to a number of factors including oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. Oxidation of DA to a potential endogenous neurotoxin, dopaminochrome (DAC), may be a potential contributor to the vulnerability of the nigrostriatal tract to oxidative insult. In this study, we show that DAC causes slow and progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in contrast to 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP(+)), which induces rapid lesions of the region. The DAC model may be more reflective of early stresses that initiate the progressive neurodegenerative process of PD, and may prove a useful model for future neurodegenerative studies. PMID:26704434

  9. A High-content screen identifies compounds promoting the neuronal differentiation and the midbrain dopamine neuron specification of human neural progenitor cells.

    PubMed

    Rhim, Ji Heon; Luo, Xiangjian; Xu, Xiaoyun; Gao, Dongbing; Zhou, Tieling; Li, Fuhai; Qin, Lidong; Wang, Ping; Xia, Xiaofeng; Wong, Stephen T C

    2015-01-01

    Small molecule compounds promoting the neuronal differentiation of stem/progenitor cells are of pivotal importance to regenerative medicine. We carried out a high-content screen to systematically characterize known bioactive compounds, on their effects on the neuronal differentiation and the midbrain dopamine (mDA) neuron specification of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) derived from the ventral mesencephalon of human fetal brain. Among the promoting compounds three major pharmacological classes were identified including the statins, TGF-βRI inhibitors, and GSK-3 inhibitors. The function of each class was also shown to be distinct, either to promote both the neuronal differentiation and mDA neuron specification, or selectively the latter, or promote the former but suppress the latter. We then carried out initial investigation on the possible mechanisms underlying, and demonstrated their applications on NPCs derived from human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs). Our study revealed the potential of several small molecule compounds for use in the directed differentiation of human NPCs. The screening result also provided insight into the signaling network regulating the differentiation of human NPCs. PMID:26542303

  10. A High-content screen identifies compounds promoting the neuronal differentiation and the midbrain dopamine neuron specification of human neural progenitor cells

    PubMed Central

    Rhim, Ji heon; Luo, Xiangjian; Xu, Xiaoyun; Gao, Dongbing; Zhou, Tieling; Li, Fuhai; Qin, Lidong; Wang, Ping; Xia, Xiaofeng; Wong, Stephen T. C.

    2015-01-01

    Small molecule compounds promoting the neuronal differentiation of stem/progenitor cells are of pivotal importance to regenerative medicine. We carried out a high-content screen to systematically characterize known bioactive compounds, on their effects on the neuronal differentiation and the midbrain dopamine (mDA) neuron specification of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) derived from the ventral mesencephalon of human fetal brain. Among the promoting compounds three major pharmacological classes were identified including the statins, TGF-βRI inhibitors, and GSK-3 inhibitors. The function of each class was also shown to be distinct, either to promote both the neuronal differentiation and mDA neuron specification, or selectively the latter, or promote the former but suppress the latter. We then carried out initial investigation on the possible mechanisms underlying, and demonstrated their applications on NPCs derived from human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs). Our study revealed the potential of several small molecule compounds for use in the directed differentiation of human NPCs. The screening result also provided insight into the signaling network regulating the differentiation of human NPCs. PMID:26542303

  11. The Dopamine D1–D2 Receptor Heteromer in Striatal Medium Spiny Neurons: Evidence for a Third Distinct Neuronal Pathway in Basal Ganglia

    PubMed Central

    Perreault, Melissa L.; Hasbi, Ahmed; O’Dowd, Brian F.; George, Susan R.

    2011-01-01

    Dopaminergic signaling within the basal ganglia has classically been thought to occur within two distinct neuronal pathways; the direct striatonigral pathway which contains the dopamine D1 receptor and the neuropeptides dynorphin (DYN) and substance P, and the indirect striatopallidal pathway which expresses the dopamine D2 receptor and enkephalin (ENK). A number of studies have also shown, however, that D1 and D2 receptors can co-exist within the same medium spiny neuron and emerging evidence indicates that these D1/D2-coexpressing neurons, which also express DYN and ENK, may comprise a third neuronal pathway, with representation in both the striatonigral and striatopallidal projections of the basal ganglia. Furthermore, within these coexpressing neurons it has been shown that the dopamine D1 and D2 receptor can form a novel and pharmacologically distinct receptor complex, the dopamine D1–D2 receptor heteromer, with unique signaling properties. This is indicative of a functionally unique role for these neurons in brain. The aim of this review is to discuss the evidence in support of a novel third pathway coexpressing the D1 and D2 receptor, to discuss the potential relevance of this pathway to basal ganglia signaling, and to address its potential value, and that of the dopamine D1–D2 receptor heteromer, in the search for new therapeutic strategies for disorders involving dopamine neurotransmission. PMID:21747759

  12. The anti-dyskinetic effect of dopamine receptor blockade is enhanced in parkinsonian rats following dopamine neuron transplantation.

    PubMed

    Shin, Eunju; Lisci, Carlo; Tronci, Elisabetta; Fidalgo, Camino; Stancampiano, Roberto; Björklund, Anders; Carta, Manolo

    2014-02-01

    Graft-induced dyskinesia (GID) is a serious complication induced by dopamine (DA) cell transplantation in parkinsonian patients. We have recently shown that DA D2 receptor blockade produces striking blockade of dyskinesia induced by amphetamine in grafted 6-OHDA-lesioned rats, a model of GID. This study was designed to investigate whether blockade of DA D1 receptors could produce similar outcome, and to see whether the effect of these treatments in grafted rats was specific for dyskinesia induced by amphetamine, or could also influence L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia (LID). L-DOPA-primed rats received transplants of fetal DA neurons into the DA-denervated striatum. Beginning at 20weeks after transplantation rats were subjected to pharmacological treatments with either L-DOPA (6mg/kg) or amphetamine (1.5mg/kg) alone, or in combination with the D1 receptor antagonist SCH23390, the D2 receptor antagonist eticlopride, and the 5-HT1A agonist/D2 receptor antagonist buspirone. Grafted rats developed severe GID, while LID was reduced. Both eticlopride and SCH23390 produced near-complete suppression of GID already at very low doses (0.015 and 0.1mg/kg, respectively). Buspirone induced similar suppression at a dose as low as 0.3mg/kg, which is far lower than the dose known to affect LID in non-grafted dyskinetic rats. In agreement with our previous results, the effect of buspirone was independent from 5-HT1A receptor activation, as it was not counteracted by the selective 5-HT1A antagonist WAY100635, but likely due to D2 receptor blockade. Most interestingly, the same doses of eticlopride, SCH23390 and buspirone were found to suppress LID in grafted but not in control dyskinetic rats. Taken together, these data demonstrate that the DA cell grafts strikingly exacerbate the effect of DA D1 and D2 receptor blockade against both GID and LID, and suggest that the anti-GID effect of buspirone seen in patients may also be due to blockade of DA D2 receptors. PMID:24135006

  13. N-8-Substituted benztropinamine analogs as selective dopamine transporter ligands.

    PubMed

    Grundt, Peter; Kopajtic, Theresa A; Katz, Jonathan L; Newman, Amy Hauck

    2005-12-15

    A series of N-8-substituted benztropinamines was synthesized and evaluated for binding at the dopamine (DAT), serotonin (SERT), norepinephrine (NET) transporters, and muscarinic M1 receptors. In general, the isosteric replacement of the C-3 benzhydrol ether of benztropine by a benzhydryl amino group was well tolerated at the DAT. However, for certain N-8 substituted derivatives, selectivity over muscarinic M1 receptor affinity was reduced. PMID:16213721

  14. Interactions between glutamate, dopamine, and the neuronal signature of response inhibition in the human striatum.

    PubMed

    Lorenz, Robert C; Gleich, Tobias; Buchert, Ralph; Schlagenhauf, Florian; Kühn, Simone; Gallinat, Jürgen

    2015-10-01

    Response inhibition is a basic mechanism in cognitive control and dysfunctional in major psychiatric disorders. The neuronal mechanisms are in part driven by dopamine in the striatum. Animal data suggest a regulatory role of glutamate on the level of the striatum. We used a trimodal imaging procedure of the human striatum including F18-DOPA positron emission tomography, proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and functional magnetic resonance imaging of a stop signal task. We investigated dopamine synthesis capacity and glutamate concentration in vivo and their relation to functional properties of response inhibition. A mediation analysis revealed a significant positive association between dopamine synthesis capacity and inhibition-related neural activity in the caudate nucleus. This relationship was significantly mediated by striatal glutamate concentration. Furthermore, stop signal reaction time was inversely related to striatal activity during inhibition. The data show, for the first time in humans, an interaction between dopamine, glutamate, and the neural signature of response inhibition in the striatum. This finding stresses the importance of the dopamine-glutamate interaction for behavior and may facilitate the understanding of psychiatric disorders characterized by impaired response inhibition. PMID:26177932

  15. Relative contributions of severe dopaminergic neuron ablation and dopamine depletion to cognitive impairment.

    PubMed

    Morgan, R Garrett; Gibbs, Jeffrey T; Melief, Erica J; Postupna, Nadia O; Sherfield, Emily E; Wilson, Angela; Keene, C Dirk; Montine, Thomas J; Palmiter, Richard D; Darvas, Martin

    2015-09-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons and produces a movement disorder and cognitive impairment that becomes more extensive with the duration of the disease. To what extent cognitive impairment in advanced PD can be attributed to severe loss of dopamine (DA) signaling is not well understood. Furthermore, it is unclear if the loss of DA neurons contributes to the cognitive impairment caused by the reduction in DA signaling. We generated genetic mouse models with equally severe chronic loss of DA achieved by either extensive ablation of DA neurons or inactivation of DA synthesis from preserved neurons and compared their motor and cognitive performance. Motor behaviors were equally blunted in both models, but we observed that DA neuron ablation caused more severe cognitive deficits than DA depletion. Both models had marked deficits in cue-discrimination learning. Yet, deficits in cue-discrimination learning were more severe in mice with DA neuron ablation and only mice with DA neuron ablation had drastically impaired performance in spatial learning, spatial memory and object memory tests. These results indicate that while a severe reduction in DA signaling results in motor and cognitive impairments, the loss of DA neurons promotes more extensive cognitive deficits and suggest that a loss of additional factors that depend on DA neurons may participate in the progressive cognitive decline found in patients with PD. PMID:26079646

  16. Role for mTOR Signaling and Neuronal Activity in Morphine-Induced Adaptations in Ventral Tegmental Area Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Mazei-Robison, M.S.; Koo, J.W.; Friedman, A.; Lansink, C.S.; Robison, A.J.; Vinish, M.; Krishnan, V.; Kim, S.; Siuta, M.A.; Galli, M. A.; Niswender, K.D.; Appasani, R.; Horvath, M.C.; Neve, R.L.; Worley, P.F.; Snyder, S.H.; Hurd, Y.L.; Cheer, J.F.; Han, M.H.; Russo, S.J.; Nestler, E.J.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY While the abuse of opiate drugs continues to rise, the neuroadaptations that occur with long-term drug exposure remain poorly understood. We describe here a series of chronic morphine-induced adaptations in ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons, which are mediated via downregulation of AKT-mTORC2 (mammalian target of rapamycin complex-2). Chronic opiates decrease the size of VTA dopamine neurons in rodents, an effect seen in humans as well, and concomitantly increase the excitability of the cells but decrease dopamine output to target regions. Chronic morphine decreases mTORC2 activity, and overexpression of Rictor, a component of mTORC2, prevents morphine-induced changes in cell morphology and activity. Further, local knock-out of Rictor in VTA decreases DA soma size and reduces rewarding responses to morphine, consistent with the hypothesis that these adaptations represent a mechanism of reward tolerance. Together, these findings demonstrate a novel role for AKT-mTORC2 signaling in mediating neuroadaptations to opiate drugs of abuse. PMID:22196333

  17. Noggin enhances dopamine neuron production from human embryonic stem cells and improves behavioral outcome after transplantation into Parkinsonian rats.

    PubMed

    Chiba, Shunmei; Lee, Young Mook; Zhou, Wenbo; Freed, Curt R

    2008-11-01

    Symptoms of Parkinson's disease have been improved by transplantation of fetal dopamine neurons recovered from aborted fetal tissue, but tissue recovery is difficult. Human embryonic stem cells may provide unlimited cells for transplantation if they can be converted to dopamine neurons and survive transplantation into brain. We have found that the bone morphogenic protein antagonist Noggin increased the number of dopamine neurons generated in vitro from human and mouse embryonic stem cells differentiated on mouse PA6 stromal cells. Noggin effects were seen with either early (for mouse, days 0-7, and for human, days 0-9) or continuous treatment. After transplant into cyclosporin-immunosuppressed rats, human dopamine neurons improved apomorphine circling in direct relation to the number of surviving dopamine neurons, which was fivefold greater after Noggin treatment than with control human embryonic stem cell transplants differentiated only on PA6 cells. We conclude that Noggin promotes dopamine neuron differentiation and survival from human and mouse embryonic stem cells. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article. PMID:18772316

  18. Methamphetamine Self-Administration in Mice Decreases GIRK Channel-Mediated Currents in Midbrain Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Sharpe, Amanda L.; Varela, Erika; Bettinger, Lynne

    2015-01-01

    Background: Methamphetamine is a psychomotor stimulant with abuse liability and a substrate for catecholamine uptake transporters. Acute methamphetamine elevates extracellular dopamine, which in the midbrain can activate D2 autoreceptors to increase a G-protein gated inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) conductance that inhibits dopamine neuron firing. These studies examined the neurophysiological consequences of methamphetamine self-administration on GIRK channel-mediated currents in dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area. Methods: Male DBA/2J mice were trained to self-administer intravenous methamphetamine. A dose response was conducted as well as extinction and cue-induced reinstatement. In a second study, after at least 2 weeks of stable self-administration of methamphetamine, electrophysiological brain slice recordings were conducted on dopamine neurons from self-administering and control mice. Results: In the first experiment, ad libitum-fed, nonfood-trained mice exhibited a significant increase in intake and locomotion following self-administration as the concentration of methamphetamine per infusion was increased (0.0015–0.15mg/kg/infusion). Mice exhibited extinction in responding and cue-induced reinstatement. In the second experiment, dopamine cells in both the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area from adult mice with a history of methamphetamine self-administration exhibited significantly smaller D2 and GABAB receptor-mediated currents compared with control mice, regardless of whether their daily self-administration sessions had been 1 or 4 hours. Interestingly, the effects of methamphetamine self-administration were not present when intracellular calcium was chelated by including BAPTA in the recording pipette. Conclusions: Our results suggest that methamphetamine self-administration decreases GIRK channel-mediated currents in dopaminergic neurons and that this effect may be calcium dependent. PMID:25522412

  19. Neurosteroid Agonist at GABAA Receptor Induces Persistent Neuroplasticity in VTA Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Vashchinkina, Elena; Manner, Aino K; Vekovischeva, Olga; Hollander, Bjørnar den; Uusi-Oukari, Mikko; Aitta-aho, Teemu; Korpi, Esa R

    2014-01-01

    The main fast-acting inhibitory receptors in the mammalian brain are γ-aminobutyric acid type-A (GABAA) receptors for which neurosteroids, a subclass of steroids synthesized de novo in the brain, constitute a group of endogenous ligands with the most potent positive modulatory actions known. Neurosteroids can act on all subtypes of GABAA receptors, with a preference for δ-subunit-containing receptors that mediate extrasynaptic tonic inhibition. Pathological conditions characterized by emotional and motivational disturbances are often associated with perturbation in the levels of endogenous neurosteroids. We studied the effects of ganaxolone (GAN)—a synthetic analog of endogenous allopregnanolone that lacks activity on nuclear steroid receptors—on the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system involved in emotions and motivation. A single dose of GAN in young mice induced a dose-dependent, long-lasting neuroplasticity of glutamate synapses of DA neurons ex vivo in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Increased α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA)/N-methyl-D-aspartate ratio and rectification of AMPA receptor responses even at 6 days after GAN administration suggested persistent synaptic targeting of GluA2-lacking AMPA receptors. This glutamate neuroplasticity was not observed in GABAA receptor δ-subunit-knockout (δ-KO) mice. GAN (500 nM) applied locally to VTA selectively increased tonic inhibition of GABA interneurons and triggered potentiation of DA neurons within 4 h in vitro. Place-conditioning experiments in adult wild-type C57BL/6J and δ-KO mice revealed aversive properties of repeated GAN administration that were dependent on the δ-subunits. Prolonged neuroadaptation to neurosteroids in the VTA might contribute to both the physiology and pathophysiology underlying processes and changes in motivation, mood, cognition, and drug addiction. PMID:24077066

  20. Spatially selective photoconductive stimulation of live neurons

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Jacob; Singh, Dipika; Hollett, Geoffrey; Dravid, Shashank M.; Sailor, Michael J.; Arikkath, Jyothi

    2014-01-01

    Synaptic activity is intimately linked to neuronal structure and function. Stimulation of live cultured primary neurons, coupled with fluorescent indicator imaging, is a powerful technique to assess the impact of synaptic activity on neuronal protein trafficking and function. Current technology for neuronal stimulation in culture include chemical techniques or microelectrode or optogenetic based techniques. While technically powerful, chemical stimulation has limited spatial resolution and microelectrode and optogenetic techniques require specialized equipment and expertise. We report an optimized and improved technique for laser based photoconductive stimulation of live neurons using an inverted confocal microscope that overcomes these limitations. The advantages of this approach include its non-invasive nature and adaptability to temporal and spatial manipulation. We demonstrate that the technique can be manipulated to achieve spatially selective stimulation of live neurons. Coupled with live imaging of fluorescent indicators, this simple and efficient technique should allow for significant advances in neuronal cell biology. PMID:24904287

  1. Glucocorticoid receptor expression and sub-cellular localization in dopamine neurons of the rat midbrain.

    PubMed

    Hensleigh, E; Pritchard, L M

    2013-11-27

    Stress plays an important role in the development of addiction. Animals subjected to stress exhibit sensitized responses to psychostimulant drugs, and this sensitized response is associated with functional adaptations of the mesolimbic dopamine system. These adaptations likely arise from direct or indirect effects of glucocorticoids on dopaminergic neurons. Though glucocorticoid receptor expression in midbrain dopaminergic neurons has been examined in previous studies, results have been somewhat equivocal. We sought to clarify this issue by analyzing tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) co-localization in the rat midbrain by dual fluorescence immunohistochemistry. We also examined sub-cellular localization of the GR in rat midbrain neurons after acute restraint stress. Adult Long-Evans rats were sacrificed 0, 30, 60 or 120min after 30min of restraint stress. A control group did not undergo restraint. Blood samples were collected immediately before and after restraint for measurement of plasma corticosterone by enzyme immunoassay. Glucocorticoid receptors were observed in dopaminergic neurons in both the substantia nigra (SN) and ventral tegmental area (VTA). The degree of co-localization of TH and GR did not differ between the VTA and the SN. All animals subjected to stress exhibited significant increases in plasma corticosterone. Significant translocation of GR signal to cell nuclei was observed after restraint in the SN, but not in the VTA. These results suggest that stress-induced glucocorticoid secretion could trigger functional changes in the mesolimbic dopamine system by direct activation of glucocorticoid receptors in dopaminergic neurons. PMID:24121048

  2. [Glial cells are involved in iron accumulation and degeneration of dopamine neurons in Parkinson's disease].

    PubMed

    Xu, Hua-Min; Wang, Jun; Song, Ning; Jiang, Hong; Xie, Jun-Xia

    2016-08-25

    A growing body of evidence suggests that glial cells play an important role in neural development, neural survival, nerve repair and regeneration, synaptic transmission and immune inflammation. As the highest number of cells in the central nervous system, the role of glial cells in Parkinson's disease (PD) has attracted more and more attention. It has been confirmed that nigral iron accumulation contributes to the death of dopamine (DA) neurons in PD. Until now, most researches on nigral iron deposition in PD are focusing on DA neurons, but in fact glial cells in the central nervous system also play an important role in the regulation of iron homeostasis. Therefore, this review describes the role of iron metabolism of glial cells in death of DA neurons in PD, which could provide evidence to reveal the mechanisms underlying nigral iron accumulation of DA neurons in PD and provide the basis for discovering new potential therapeutic targets for PD. PMID:27546505

  3. Selective IT neurons are selective along many dimensions.

    PubMed

    Zhivago, Kalathupiriyan A; Arun, S P

    2016-03-01

    Our visual abilities are unsurpassed because of a sophisticated code for objects located in the inferior temporal (IT) cortex. This code has remained a mystery because IT neurons show extremely diverse shape selectivity with no apparent organizing principle. Here, we show that there is an intrinsic component to selectivity in IT neurons. We tested IT neurons on distinct shapes and their parametric variations and asked whether neurons selective along one dimension were also selective along others. Selective neurons responded to fewer shapes and were narrowly tuned to local variations of these shapes, both along arbitrary morph lines and along variations in size, position, or orientation. For a subset of neurons, selective neurons were selective for both shape and texture. Finally, selective neurons were also more invariant in that they preserved their shape preferences across changes in size, position, and orientation. These observations indicate that there is an intrinsic constraint on the sharpness of tuning for the features coded by each IT neuron, making it always sharply tuned or always broadly tuned along all dimensions. We speculate that this may be an organizing principle throughout visual cortex. PMID:26823517

  4. Selective IT neurons are selective along many dimensions

    PubMed Central

    Zhivago, Kalathupiriyan A.

    2016-01-01

    Our visual abilities are unsurpassed because of a sophisticated code for objects located in the inferior temporal (IT) cortex. This code has remained a mystery because IT neurons show extremely diverse shape selectivity with no apparent organizing principle. Here, we show that there is an intrinsic component to selectivity in IT neurons. We tested IT neurons on distinct shapes and their parametric variations and asked whether neurons selective along one dimension were also selective along others. Selective neurons responded to fewer shapes and were narrowly tuned to local variations of these shapes, both along arbitrary morph lines and along variations in size, position, or orientation. For a subset of neurons, selective neurons were selective for both shape and texture. Finally, selective neurons were also more invariant in that they preserved their shape preferences across changes in size, position, and orientation. These observations indicate that there is an intrinsic constraint on the sharpness of tuning for the features coded by each IT neuron, making it always sharply tuned or always broadly tuned along all dimensions. We speculate that this may be an organizing principle throughout visual cortex. PMID:26823517

  5. Increased mitochondrial DNA deletions in substantia nigra dopamine neurons of the aged rat.

    PubMed

    Parkinson, Gemma M; Dayas, Christopher V; Smith, Doug W

    2014-01-01

    The dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra (SN), which constitute the origin of the nigrostriatal system, are vulnerable to age-related degenerative processes. For example, in humans there is a relatively small age-related loss of neurons but a marked decline of the dopaminergic phenotype associated with impaired voluntary motor control. However, the mechanisms responsible for the dysfunction and degeneration of SN dopamine neurons remain poorly understood. One potential contributor is mitochondrial dysfunction, resulting from an increased abundance of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations such as deletions. Human studies have identified relatively high levels of mtDNA deletions in these cells in both aging and Parkinson's disease (>35%), with a higher abundance of deletions (>60%) in individual neurons with mitochondrial dysfunction. However, it is unknown whether similar mtDNA mutations occur in other species such as the rat. In the present study, we quantified mtDNA deletion abundance in laser microdissected SN dopaminergic neurons from young and old F344 rats. Our results indicate that mtDNA deletions accumulated with age, with approximately 20% more mtDNA deletions in SN dopaminergic neurons from old compared to young animals. Thus, while rat SN dopaminergic neurons do accumulate mtDNA deletions with aging, this does not reflect the deletion burden in humans, and other mechanisms may be operating to compensate for age-related mtDNA damage in the rat SN dopaminergic neurons. PMID:25612740

  6. Exogenous erythropoietin provides neuroprotection of grafted dopamine neurons in a rodent model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Kanaan, Nicholas M; Collier, Timothy J; Marchionini, Deanna M; McGuire, Susan O; Fleming, Matthew F; Sortwell, Caryl E

    2006-01-12

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease marked by severe loss of dopamine (DA) neurons in the nigrostriatal system, which results in depletion of striatal DA. Transplantation of embryonic ventral mesencephalic (VM) DA neurons into the striatum is a currently explored experimental treatment aimed at replacing lost DA in the nigrostriatal system, but is plagued with poor survival (5-20%) of implanted neurons. Here, we tested the ability of erythropoietin (Epo) to provide neuroprotection for embryonic day 14 (E14) VM DA neurons. Epo was tested in vitro for the ability to augment tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive (TH-ir) neuron survival under normal cell culture conditions. In vitro, Epo did not increase the number of TH-ir neurons when administered at the time of plating the E14 VM cells in culture. We also tested the efficacy of Epo to enhance E14 VM transplants in vivo. Rats unilaterally lesioned with 6-hydroxydopamine received transplants that were incubated in Epo. Treatment with Epo produced significant increases in TH-ir neuron number, soma size, and staining intensity. Animals receiving Epo-treated grafts exhibited significantly accelerated functional improvements and significantly greater overall improvements from rotational asymmetry compared to control grafted rats. These data indicate that the survival of embryonic mesencephalic TH-ir neurons is increased when Epo is administered with grafted cells in a rodent model of PD. As direct neurotrophic effects of Epo were not observed in vitro, the mechanism of Epo neuroprotection remains to be elucidated. PMID:16368081

  7. Dopamine-related drugs act presynaptically to potentiate GABA(A) receptor currents in VTA dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Michaeli, Avner; Yaka, Rami

    2011-01-01

    Electrical activity of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons is immediately inhibited following in vivo administration of cocaine and other DA-related drugs. While various forms of synaptic modulation were demonstrated in the VTA following exposure to DA-related drugs, comprehensive understanding of their ability to inhibit the activity of DA neurons, however, is still lacking. In this study, using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from rat brain slices, a novel form of synaptic modulation induced by DA-related drugs was isolated. DA exposure was shown to cause potentiation of γ-amino-butyric acid (GABA) receptor type A (GABA(A)R)-mediated evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (eIPSCs), recorded from VTA DA neurons, under conditions of potassium channels blockade. The potentiation of these eIPSCs lasted for more than twenty minutes, could be mimicked by activation of D2-like but not D1-like DA receptors, and was accompanied by an increase in the frequency of GABA(A)R-mediated spontaneous miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs). Furthermore, exposure to inhibitors of DA transporter (DAT) led to potentiation of GABA(A) currents in a manner similar to the DA-mediated potentiation. Finally, a prolonged presence of l-NAME, an inhibitor of nitric-oxide (NO) signaling was found to conceal the potentiation of GABA(A) currents induced by the DA-related drugs. Taken together, this study demonstrates a new modulatory form of VTA GABA(A) neurotransmission mediated by DA-related drugs. These results also suggest better understanding of the initial inhibitory action of DA-related drugs on the activity of DA neurons in the VTA. PMID:21527263

  8. Transplanted dopamine neurons derived from primate ES cells preferentially innervate DARPP-32 striatal progenitors within the graft.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Daniela; Sanchez-Pernaute, Rosario; Lee, Hyojin; Studer, Lorenz; Isacson, Ole

    2006-10-01

    The correct identity and functional capacity of transplanted dopamine (DA) neurons derived in vitro from embryonic stem (ES) cells is a critical factor for the development of an ES cell-based replacement therapy for Parkinson's disease. We transplanted primate Cyno-1 ES cells differentiated in vitro for 4 (progenitor ES cells) or 6 (differentiated ES cells) weeks, or control fetal primate cells into the striatum of hemi-parkinsonian rats. Partial behavioral recovery in amphetamine-induced rotation was correlated with the number of ES-derived tyrosine hydroxylase-positive (TH+) neurons in the grafts (r=0.5, P<0.05). Post mortem analysis of ES-derived grafts revealed TH+neurons with mature morphology, similar to fetal DA neurons, and expression of midbrain transcription factors, such as Engrailed (En) and Nurr-1. While the total number of TH+neurons was not different between the two groups, TH/En co-expression was significantly higher (>90%) in grafts from differentiated ES cells than in grafts derived from progenitor cells (<50%), reflecting a more heterogeneous cellular composition. Within the grafts there was an overlap between ES-derived TH+axonal arbors and clusters of primate ES-derived striatal neurons expressing brain factor 1 (Bf-1, Foxg1) and DA and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein (DARPP-32). Such overlap was never observed for other regional transcription factors that define neighboring forebrain domains in the developing brain, such as Nkx2.1 (medial ganglionic eminence), Nkx2.2 (pallidal and diencephalic progenitors) or Pax6 (dorsal telencephalic progenitors). Despite the heterogeneity of ES-derived graft cell composition, these results demonstrate normal phenotypic specification, conserved natural axonal target selectivity and functionality of DA neurons derived from primate ES cells. PMID:17067292

  9. Adult rat bone marrow stromal cells express genes associated with dopamine neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Kramer, Brian C.; Woodbury, Dale . E-mail: WOODBURYDL@AOL.COM; Black, Ira B.

    2006-05-19

    An intensive search is underway to identify candidates to replace the cells that degenerate in Parkinson's disease (PD). To date, no suitable substitute has been found. We have recently found that adult rat bone marrow stromal cells (MSCs) can be induced to assume a neuronal phenotype in vitro. These findings may have particular relevance to the treatment of PD. We now report that adult MSCs express multiple dopaminergic genes, suggesting that they are potential candidates for cell therapy. Using RT-PCR, we have examined families of genes that are associated with the development and/or survival of dopaminergic neurons. MSCs transcribe a variety of dopaminergic genes including patched and smoothened (components of the Shh receptor), Gli-1 (downstream mediator of Shh), and Otx-1, a gene associated with formation of the mesencephalon during development. Furthermore, Shh treatment elicits a 1.5-fold increase in DNA synthesis in cultured MSCs, suggesting the presence of a functional Shh receptor complex. We have also found that MSCs transcribe and translate Nurr-1, a nuclear receptor essential for the development of dopamine neurons. In addition, MSCs express a variety of growth factor receptors including the glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol-anchored ligand-binding subunit of the GDNF receptor, GFR{alpha}1, as well as fibroblast growth factor receptors one and four. The expression of genes that are associated with the development and survival of dopamine neurons suggests a potential role for these cells in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

  10. Adult Conditional Knockout of PGC-1α Leads to Loss of Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Haisong; Zhang, Shuran; Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar; Xu, Jinchong; Pletnikova, Olga; Troncoso, Juan C.; Pirooznia, Shelia; Andrabi, Shaida A.

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic progressive neurodegenerative disorder. Recent studies have implicated a role for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator protein-1α (PGC-1α) in PD and in animal or cellular models of PD. The role of PGC-1α in the function and survival of substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) dopamine neurons is not clear. Here we find that there are four different PGC-1α isoforms expressed in SH-SY5Y cells, and these four isoforms are expressed across subregions of mouse brain. Adult conditional PGC-1α knock-out mice show a significant loss of dopaminergic neurons that is accompanied by a reduction of dopamine in the striatum. In human PD postmortem tissue from the SNpc, there is a reduction of PGC-1α isoforms and mitochondria markers. Our findings suggest that all four isoforms of PGC-1α are required for the proper expression of mitochondrial proteins in SNpc DA neurons and that PGC-1α is essential for SNpc DA neuronal survival, possibly through the maintenance of mitochondrial function. PMID:27622213

  11. Adult Conditional Knockout of PGC-1α Leads to Loss of Dopamine Neurons.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Haisong; Kang, Sung-Ung; Zhang, Shuran; Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar; Xu, Jinchong; Lee, Yong-Kyu; Kang, Bong-Gu; Lee, Yunjong; Zhang, Jianmin; Pletnikova, Olga; Troncoso, Juan C; Pirooznia, Shelia; Andrabi, Shaida A; Dawson, Valina L; Dawson, Ted M

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic progressive neurodegenerative disorder. Recent studies have implicated a role for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator protein-1α (PGC-1α) in PD and in animal or cellular models of PD. The role of PGC-1α in the function and survival of substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) dopamine neurons is not clear. Here we find that there are four different PGC-1α isoforms expressed in SH-SY5Y cells, and these four isoforms are expressed across subregions of mouse brain. Adult conditional PGC-1α knock-out mice show a significant loss of dopaminergic neurons that is accompanied by a reduction of dopamine in the striatum. In human PD postmortem tissue from the SNpc, there is a reduction of PGC-1α isoforms and mitochondria markers. Our findings suggest that all four isoforms of PGC-1α are required for the proper expression of mitochondrial proteins in SNpc DA neurons and that PGC-1α is essential for SNpc DA neuronal survival, possibly through the maintenance of mitochondrial function. PMID:27622213

  12. Ventral Subiculum Stimulation Promotes Persistent Hyperactivity of Dopamine Neurons and Facilitates Behavioral Effects of Cocaine.

    PubMed

    Glangetas, Christelle; Fois, Giulia R; Jalabert, Marion; Lecca, Salvatore; Valentinova, Kristina; Meye, Frank J; Diana, Marco; Faure, Philippe; Mameli, Manuel; Caille, Stéphanie; Georges, François

    2015-12-15

    The ventral subiculum (vSUB) plays a key role in addiction, and identifying the neuronal circuits and synaptic mechanisms by which vSUB alters the excitability of dopamine neurons is a necessary step to understand the motor changes induced by cocaine. Here, we report that high-frequency stimulation of the vSUB (HFSvSUB) over-activates ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons in vivo and triggers long-lasting modifications of synaptic transmission measured ex vivo. This potentiation is caused by NMDA-dependent plastic changes occurring in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST). Finally, we report that the modification of the BNST-VTA neural circuits induced by HFSvSUB potentiates locomotor activity induced by a sub-threshold dose of cocaine. Our findings unravel a neuronal circuit encoding behavioral effects of cocaine in rats and highlight the importance of adaptive modifications in the BNST, a structure that influences motivated behavior as well as maladaptive behaviors associated with addiction. PMID:26628379

  13. Mu Opioid Receptor Modulation of Dopamine Neurons in the Periaqueductal Gray/Dorsal Raphe: A Role in Regulation of Pain.

    PubMed

    Li, Chia; Sugam, Jonathan A; Lowery-Gionta, Emily G; McElligott, Zoe A; McCall, Nora M; Lopez, Alberto J; McKlveen, Jessica M; Pleil, Kristen E; Kash, Thomas L

    2016-07-01

    The periaqueductal gray (PAG) is a brain region involved in nociception modulation, and an important relay center for the descending nociceptive pathway through the rostral ventral lateral medulla. Given the dense expression of mu opioid receptors and the role of dopamine in pain, the recently characterized dopamine neurons in the ventral PAG (vPAG)/dorsal raphe (DR) region are a potentially critical site for the antinociceptive actions of opioids. The objectives of this study were to (1) evaluate synaptic modulation of the vPAG/DR dopamine neurons by mu opioid receptors and to (2) dissect the anatomy and neurochemistry of these neurons, in order to assess the downstream loci and functions of their activation. Using a mouse line that expresses eGFP under control of the tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) promoter, we found that mu opioid receptor activation led to a decrease in inhibitory inputs onto the vPAG/DR dopamine neurons. Furthermore, combining immunohistochemistry, optogenetics, electrophysiology, and fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in a TH-cre mouse line, we demonstrated that these neurons also express the vesicular glutamate type 2 transporter and co-release dopamine and glutamate in a major downstream projection structure-the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Finally, activation of TH-positive neurons in the vPAG/DR using Gq designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs displayed a supraspinal, but not spinal, antinociceptive effect. These results indicate that vPAG/DR dopamine neurons likely play a key role in opiate antinociception, potentially via the activation of downstream structures through dopamine and glutamate release. PMID:26792442

  14. Circadian Modulation of Dopamine Levels and Dopaminergic Neuron Development Contributes to Attention Deficiency and Hyperactive Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Jian; Zhong, Zhaomin; Wang, Mingyong; Chen, Xifeng; Tan, Yicheng; Zhang, Shuqing; He, Wei; He, Xiong; Huang, Guodong; Lu, Haiping; Wu, Ping; Che, Yi; Yan, Yi-Lin; Postlethwait, John H.; Chen, Wenbiao

    2015-01-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders in children and adults. While ADHD patients often display circadian abnormalities, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here we found that the zebrafish mutant for the circadian gene period1b (per1b) displays hyperactive, impulsive-like, and attention deficit-like behaviors and low levels of dopamine, reminiscent of human ADHD patients. We found that the circadian clock directly regulates dopamine-related genes monoamine oxidase and dopamine β hydroxylase, and acts via genes important for the development or maintenance of dopaminergic neurons to regulate their number and organization in the ventral diencephalic posterior tuberculum. We then found that Per1 knock-out mice also display ADHD-like symptoms and reduced levels of dopamine, thereby showing highly conserved roles of the circadian clock in ADHD. Our studies demonstrate that disruption of a circadian clock gene elicits ADHD-like syndrome. The circadian model for attention deficiency and hyperactive behavior sheds light on ADHD pathogenesis and opens avenues for exploring novel targets for diagnosis and therapy for this common psychiatric disorder. PMID:25673850

  15. Dopamine Regulation of Lateral Inhibition between Striatal Neurons Gates the Stimulant Actions of Cocaine.

    PubMed

    Dobbs, Lauren K; Kaplan, Alanna R; Lemos, Julia C; Matsui, Aya; Rubinstein, Marcelo; Alvarez, Veronica A

    2016-06-01

    Striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) form inhibitory synapses on neighboring striatal neurons through axon collaterals. The functional relevance of this lateral inhibition and its regulation by dopamine remains elusive. We show that synchronized stimulation of collateral transmission from multiple indirect-pathway MSNs (iMSNs) potently inhibits action potentials in direct-pathway MSNs (dMSNs) in the nucleus accumbens. Dopamine D2 receptors (D2Rs) suppress lateral inhibition from iMSNs to disinhibit dMSNs, which are known to facilitate locomotion. Surprisingly, D2R inhibition of synaptic transmission was larger at axon collaterals from iMSNs than their projections to the ventral pallidum. Targeted deletion of D2Rs from iMSNs impaired cocaine's ability to suppress lateral inhibition and increase locomotion. These impairments were rescued by chemogenetic activation of Gi-signaling in iMSNs. These findings shed light on the functional significance of lateral inhibition between MSNs and offer a novel synaptic mechanism by which dopamine gates locomotion and cocaine exerts its canonical stimulant response. VIDEO ABSTRACT. PMID:27181061

  16. Reward and choice encoding in terminals of midbrain dopamine neurons depends on striatal target.

    PubMed

    Parker, Nathan F; Cameron, Courtney M; Taliaferro, Joshua P; Lee, Junuk; Choi, Jung Yoon; Davidson, Thomas J; Daw, Nathaniel D; Witten, Ilana B

    2016-06-01

    Dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the midbrain provide rich topographic innervation of the striatum and are central to learning and to generating actions. Despite the importance of this DA innervation, it remains unclear whether and how DA neurons are specialized on the basis of the location of their striatal target. Thus, we sought to compare the function of subpopulations of DA neurons that target distinct striatal subregions in the context of an instrumental reversal learning task. We identified key differences in the encoding of reward and choice in dopamine terminals in dorsal versus ventral striatum: DA terminals in ventral striatum responded more strongly to reward consumption and reward-predicting cues, whereas DA terminals in dorsomedial striatum responded more strongly to contralateral choices. In both cases the terminals encoded a reward prediction error. Our results suggest that the DA modulation of the striatum is spatially organized to support the specialized function of the targeted subregion. PMID:27110917

  17. Differences in Number of Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Associated with Summer and Winter Photoperiods in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Aumann, Tim D.; Raabus, Mai; Tomas, Doris; Prijanto, Agustinus; Churilov, Leonid; Spitzer, Nicholas C.; Horne, Malcolm K.

    2016-01-01

    Recent evidence indicates the number of dopaminergic neurons in the adult rodent hypothalamus and midbrain is regulated by environmental cues, including photoperiod, and that this occurs via up- or down-regulation of expression of genes and proteins that are important for dopamine (DA) synthesis in extant neurons (‘DA neurotransmitter switching’). If the same occurs in humans, it may have implications for neurological symptoms associated with DA imbalances. Here we tested whether there are differences in the number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, the rate-limiting enzyme in DA synthesis) and DA transporter (DAT) immunoreactive neurons in the midbrain of people who died in summer (long-day photoperiod, n = 5) versus winter (short-day photoperiod, n = 5). TH and DAT immunoreactivity in neurons and their processes was qualitatively higher in summer compared with winter. The density of TH immunopositive (TH+) neurons was significantly (~6-fold) higher whereas the density of TH immunonegative (TH-) neurons was significantly (~2.5-fold) lower in summer compared with winter. The density of total neurons (TH+ and TH- combined) was not different. The density of DAT+ neurons was ~2-fold higher whereas the density of DAT- neurons was ~2-fold lower in summer compared with winter, although these differences were not statistically significant. In contrast, midbrain nuclear volume, the density of supposed glia (small TH- cells), and the amount of TUNEL staining were the same in summer compared with winter. This study provides the first evidence of an association between environmental stimuli (photoperiod) and the number of midbrain DA neurons in humans, and suggests DA neurotransmitter switching underlies this association. PMID:27428306

  18. Grafts of fetal dopamine neurons survive and improve motor function in Parkinson's disease

    SciTech Connect

    Lindvall, O.; Brundin, P.; Widner, H.; Rehncrona, S.; Gustavii, B.; Frackowiak, R.; Leenders, K.L.; Sawle, G.; Rothwell, J.C.; Marsden, C.D. )

    1990-02-02

    Neural transplantation can restore striatal dopaminergic neurotransmission in animal models of Parkinson's disease. It has now been shown that mesencephalic dopamine neurons, obtained from human fetuses of 8 to 9 weeks gestational age, can survive in the human brain and produce marked and sustained symptomatic relief in a patient severely affected with idiopathic Parkinson's disease. The grafts, which were implanted unilaterally into the putamen by stereotactic surgery, restored dopamine synthesis and storage in the grafted area, as assessed by positron emission tomography with 6-L-({sup 18}F)fluorodopa. This neurochemical change was accompanied by a therapeutically significant reduction in the patient's severe rigidity and bradykinesia and a marked diminuation of the fluctuations in the patient's condition during optimum medication (the on-off phenomenon). The clinical improvement was most marked on the side contralateral to the transplant.

  19. Excitation of tuberoinfundibular dopamine neurons by oxytocin: crosstalk in the control of lactation.

    PubMed

    Briffaud, Virginie; Williams, Paul; Courty, Justine; Broberger, Christian

    2015-03-11

    Milk production in the nursing mother is induced by the hormone prolactin. Its release from the anterior pituitary is generally under tonic inhibition by neuroendocrine tuberoinfundibular dopamine (TIDA) neurons of the arcuate nucleus. Successful nursing, however, requires not only production but also ejection of breast milk. This function is supported by the hormone oxytocin. Here we explored the possibility that interaction between these functionally complementary hormones is mediated by TIDA neurons. First, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were performed on prepubertal male rat hypothalamic slices, where TIDA neurons can be identified by a robust and rhythmic membrane potential oscillation. Oxytocin induced a switch of this rhythmic activity to tonic discharge through a depolarization involving direct actions on TIDA neurons. The depolarization is sensitive to blockade of the oxytocin receptor and is mediated by a voltage-dependent inward current. This inward current has two components: a canonical transient receptor potential-like conductance in the low-voltage range, and in the high-voltage range, a Ca(2+)-dependent component. Finally, whole-cell and loose-patch recordings were also performed on slices from virgin and lactating female rats to evaluate the relevance of these findings for nursing. In these preparations, oxytocin was found to excite TIDA neurons, identified by their expression of tyrosine hydroxylase. These findings suggest that oxytocin can modulate prolactin secretion by exciting TIDA neurons, and that this may serve as a feedforward inhibition of prolactin release. PMID:25762669

  20. Recovery from experimental parkinsonism by semaphorin-guided axonal growth of grafted dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Díaz-Martínez, N Emmanuel; Tamariz, Elisa; Díaz, N Fabián; García-Peña, Claudia M; Varela-Echavarría, Alfredo; Velasco, Iván

    2013-08-01

    Cell therapy in animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD) is effective after intrastriatal grafting of dopamine (DA) neurons, whereas intranigral transplantation of dopaminergic cells does not cause consistent behavioral recovery. One strategy to promote axonal growth of dopaminergic neurons from the substantia nigra (SN) to the striatum is degradation of inhibitory components such as chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans (CSPG). An alternative is the guidance of DA axons by chemotropic agents. Semaphorins 3A and 3C enhance axonal growth of embryonic stem (ES) cell-derived dopaminergic neurons in vitro, while Semaphorin 3C also attracts them. We asked whether intranigral transplantation of DA neurons, combined with either degradation of CSPG or with grafts of Semaphorin 3-expressing cells, towards the striatum, is effective in establishing a new nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway in rats with unilateral depletion of DA neurons. We found depolarization-induced DA release in dorsal striatum, DA axonal projections from SN to striatum, and concomitant behavioral improvement in Semaphorin 3-treated animals. These effects were absent in animals that received intranigral transplants combined with Chondroitinase ABC treatment, although partial degradation of CSPG was observed. These results are evidence that Semaphorin 3-directed long-distance axonal growth of dopaminergic neurons, resulting in behavioral improvement, is possible in adult diseased brains. PMID:23732989

  1. Androgen Decreases Dopamine Neurone Survival in Rat Midbrain

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, M. L.; Day, A. E.; Ho, C. C.; Walker, Q. D.; Francis, R.; Kuhn, C. M.

    2011-01-01

    Clinical studies show that men are more likely to develop disorders affecting midbrain dopaminergic pathways, such as drug addiction and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Although a great deal of focus has been given to the role of oestrogen in the maintenance of midbrain dopaminergic pathways, little is known about how testosterone influences these pathways. In the present study, we used stereological analysis of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive (TH-IR) cell bodies to determine how testosterone influences the dopaminergic cell bodies of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA). Rats and mice were castrated at post-natal day (PN) 60, and these midbrain cell populations were counted on PN 90. One month after castration, TH-IR cell number had increased in the SNpc and VTA of rats and mice. Replacement with testosterone or the non-aromatisable analogue dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in castrated animals reduced TH-IR cell number in the SNpc and VTA in rats. In mice, the decrease of TH-IR cell number with testosterone or DHT replacement was observed only in the SNpc. The apparent increase in TH-IR neurone number after castration is not explained by an increase in TH expression because the number of nondopaminergic cells (TH-immunonegative, TH-IN) did not decrease proportionally after castration. TH-IN cell number did not change after castration or hormone replacement in rat or mouse SNpc or VTA. These findings suggest that testosterone may play a suppressive role in midbrain dopaminergic pathways. PMID:20136692

  2. Functional characterization of ether-à-go-go-related gene potassium channels in midbrain dopamine neurons - implications for a role in depolarization block.

    PubMed

    Ji, Huifang; Tucker, Kristal R; Putzier, Ilva; Huertas, Marco A; Horn, John P; Canavier, Carmen C; Levitan, Edwin S; Shepard, Paul D

    2012-10-01

    Bursting activity by midbrain dopamine neurons reflects the complex interplay between their intrinsic pacemaker activity and synaptic inputs. Although the precise mechanism responsible for the generation and modulation of bursting in vivo has yet to be established, several ion channels have been implicated in the process. Previous studies with nonselective blockers suggested that ether-à-go-go-related gene (ERG) K(+) channels are functionally significant. Here, electrophysiology with selective chemical and peptide ERG channel blockers (E-4031 and rBeKm-1) and computational methods were used to define the contribution made by ERG channels to the firing properties of midbrain dopamine neurons in vivo and in vitro. Selective ERG channel blockade increased the frequency of spontaneous activity as well as the response to depolarizing current pulses without altering spike frequency adaptation. ERG channel block also accelerated entry into depolarization inactivation during bursts elicited by virtual NMDA receptors generated with the dynamic clamp, and significantly prolonged the duration of the sustained depolarization inactivation that followed pharmacologically evoked bursts. In vivo, somatic ERG blockade was associated with an increase in bursting activity attributed to a reduction in doublet firing. Taken together, these results show that dopamine neuron ERG K(+) channels play a prominent role in limiting excitability and in minimizing depolarization inactivation. As the therapeutic actions of antipsychotic drugs are associated with depolarization inactivation of dopamine neurons and blockade of cardiac ERG channels is a prominent side effect of these drugs, ERG channels in the central nervous system may represent a novel target for antipsychotic drug development. PMID:22780096

  3. Rat Globus Pallidus Neurons: Functional Classification and Effects of Dopamine Depletion

    PubMed Central

    Karain, Brad; Xu, Dan; Bellone, John A.; Hartman, Richard E.; Shi, Wei-Xing

    2015-01-01

    The rat globus pallidus (GP) is homologous to the primate GP externus. Studies with injectable anesthetics suggest that GP neurons can be classified into Type-I and Type-II cells based on extracellularly recorded spike shape, or positively coupled (PC), negatively coupled (NC), and uncoupled (UC) cells based on functional connectivity with the cortex. In this study, we examined the electrophysiology of rat GP neurons using the inhalational anesthetic isoflurane which offers more constant and easily regulated levels of anesthesia than injectable anesthetics. In 130 GP neurons recorded using small-tip glass electrodes (<1 μm), all but one fired Type-II spikes (positive/negative waveform). Type-I cells were unlikely to be inhibited by isoflurane since all GP neurons also fired Type-II spikes under ketamine-induced anesthesia. When recorded with large-tip electrodes (~2 μm), however, over 70% of GP neurons exhibited Type-I spikes (negative/positive waveform). These results suggest that the spike shape, recorded extracellularly, varies depending on the electrode used and is not reliable in distinguishing Type-I and Type-II neurons. Using dual-site recording, 40% of GP neurons were identified as PC cells, 17.5% NC cells, and 42.5% UC cells. The three subtypes also differed significantly in firing rate and pattern. Lesions of dopamine neurons increased the number of NC cells, decreased that of UC cells, and significantly shifted the phase relationship between PC cells and the cortex. These results support the presence of GP neuron subtypes and suggest that each subtype plays a different role in the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease. PMID:25196543

  4. Argonaute 2 in dopamine 2 receptor–expressing neurons regulates cocaine addiction

    PubMed Central

    Im, Heh-In; Venø, Morten T.; Fowler, Christie D.; Min, Alice; Intrator, Adam; Kjems, Jørgen; Kenny, Paul J.; O’Carroll, Donal; Greengard, Paul

    2010-01-01

    Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that exerts its effects by increasing the levels of released dopamine in the striatum, followed by stable changes in gene transcription, mRNA translation, and metabolism within medium spiny neurons in the striatum. The multiple changes in gene and protein expression associated with cocaine addiction suggest the existence of a mechanism that facilitates a coordinated cellular response to cocaine. Here, we provide evidence for a key role of miRNAs in cocaine addiction. We show that Argonaute 2 (Ago2), which plays an important role in miRNA generation and execution of miRNA-mediated gene silencing, is involved in regulation of cocaine addiction. Deficiency of Ago2 in dopamine 2 receptor (Drd2)–expressing neurons greatly reduces the motivation to self-administer cocaine in mice. We identified a distinct group of miRNAs that is specifically regulated by Ago2 in the striatum. Comparison of miRNAs affected by Ago2 deficiency with miRNAs that are enriched and/or up-regulated in Drd2-neurons in response to cocaine identified a set of miRNAs that are likely to play a role in cocaine addiction. PMID:20643829

  5. Diacylglycerol lipase disinhibits VTA dopamine neurons during chronic nicotine exposure

    PubMed Central

    Buczynski, Matthew W.; Herman, Melissa A.; Natividad, Luis A.; Irimia, Cristina; Polis, Ilham Y.; Pugh, Holly; Chang, Jae Won; Niphakis, Micah J.; Cravatt, Benjamin F.; Roberto, Marisa; Parsons, Loren H.

    2016-01-01

    Chronic nicotine exposure (CNE) alters synaptic transmission in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in a manner that enhances dopaminergic signaling and promotes nicotine use. The present experiments identify a correlation between enhanced production of the endogenous cannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and diminished release of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in the VTA following CNE. To study the functional role of on-demand 2-AG signaling in GABAergic synapses, we used 1,2,3-triazole urea compounds to selectively inhibit 2-AG biosynthesis by diacylglycerol lipase (DAGL). The potency and selectivity of these inhibitors were established in rats in vitro (rat brain proteome), ex vivo (brain slices), and in vivo (intracerebroventricular administration) using activity-based protein profiling and targeted metabolomics analyses. Inhibition of DAGL (2-AG biosynthesis) rescues nicotine-induced VTA GABA signaling following CNE. Conversely, enhancement of 2-AG signaling in naïve rats by inhibiting 2-AG degradation recapitulates the loss of nicotine-induced GABA signaling evident following CNE. DAGL inhibition reduces nicotine self-administration without disrupting operant responding for a nondrug reinforcer or motor activity. Collectively, these findings provide a detailed characterization of selective inhibitors of rat brain DAGL and demonstrate that excessive 2-AG signaling contributes to a loss of inhibitory GABAergic constraint of VTA excitability following CNE. PMID:26755579

  6. Cabergoline, Dopamine D2 Receptor Agonist, Prevents Neuronal Cell Death under Oxidative Stress via Reducing Excitotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    Odaka, Haruki; Numakawa, Tadahiro; Adachi, Naoki; Ooshima, Yoshiko; Nakajima, Shingo; Katanuma, Yusuke; Inoue, Takafumi; Kunugi, Hiroshi

    2014-01-01

    Several lines of evidence demonstrate that oxidative stress is involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease. Potent antioxidants may therefore be effective in the treatment of such diseases. Cabergoline, a dopamine D2 receptor agonist and antiparkinson drug, has been studied using several cell types including mesencephalic neurons, and is recognized as a potent radical scavenger. Here, we examined whether cabergoline exerts neuroprotective effects against oxidative stress through a receptor-mediated mechanism in cultured cortical neurons. We found that neuronal death induced by H2O2 exposure was inhibited by pretreatment with cabergoline, while this protective effect was eliminated in the presence of a dopamine D2 receptor inhibitor, spiperone. Activation of ERK1/2 by H2O2 was suppressed by cabergoline, and an ERK signaling pathway inhibitor, U0126, similarly protected cortical neurons from cell death. This suggested the ERK signaling pathway has a critical role in cabergoline-mediated neuroprotection. Furthermore, increased extracellular levels of glutamate induced by H2O2, which might contribute to ERK activation, were reduced by cabergoline, while inhibitors for NMDA receptor or L-type Ca2+ channel demonstrated a survival effect against H2O2. Interestingly, we found that cabergoline increased expression levels of glutamate transporters such as EAAC1. Taken together, these results suggest that cabergoline has a protective effect on cortical neurons via a receptor-mediated mechanism including repression of ERK1/2 activation and extracellular glutamate accumulation induced by H2O2. PMID:24914776

  7. Opioid-mediated regulation of A11 diencephalospinal dopamine neurons: pharmacological evidence of activation by morphine

    PubMed Central

    Pappas, Samuel S.; Kennedy, Tom; Goudreau, John L.; Lookingland, Keith J.

    2011-01-01

    Dopamine (DA) neurons of the A11 diencephalospinal system represent the sole source of DA innervation to the spinal cord in mice, serving neuromodulatory roles in the processing of nociceptive input and movement. These neurons originate in the dorsocaudal diencephalon and project axons unilaterally throughout the rostrocaudal extent of the spinal cord, terminating predominantly in the dorsal horn. The density of A11 DA axon terminals in the lumbar region is greater in males compared to females, while in both sexes the activity of neurons terminating in the thoracic spinal cord is greater than those terminating in the lumbar region. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that A11 DA neurons are activated by opioids. To test this hypothesis, male and female mice were systemically treated with agonists or antagonists acting at the μ-opioid receptor, and spinal cord concentrations of DA and its metabolite DOPAC were determined in the thoracic and lumbar spinal cord using high performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrochemical detection. Systemic administration of the μ-opioid agonist morphine led to a dose- and time-dependent increase in spinal cord DOPAC/DA ratio (an estimate of DA neuronal activity) in both male and female mice, with greater changes occurring in the lumbar segment. Blockade of opioid receptors with the opioid antagonist naloxone reversed the stimulatory effects of morphine on A11 DA neurons in both male and female mice, but had little to no effect on the activity of these neurons when administered alone. Present findings are consistent with the conclusion that spinal cord- projecting axon terminals of A11 DA neurons are activated by opioids in both male and female mice, most likely through a disinhibitory mechanism. PMID:21605572

  8. Dopamine regulates two classes of primate prefrontal neurons that represent sensory signals.

    PubMed

    Jacob, Simon N; Ott, Torben; Nieder, Andreas

    2013-08-21

    The lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), a hub of higher-level cognitive processing, is strongly modulated by midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons. The cellular mechanisms have been comprehensively studied in the context of short-term memory, but little is known about how DA regulates sensory inputs to PFC that precede and give rise to such memory activity. By preparing recipient cortical circuits for incoming signals, DA could be a powerful determinant of downstream cognitive processing. Here, we tested the hypothesis that prefrontal DA regulates the representation of sensory signals that are required for perceptual decisions. In rhesus monkeys trained to report the presence or absence of visual stimuli at varying levels of contrast, we simultaneously recorded extracellular single-unit activity and applied DA to the immediate vicinity of the neurons by micro-iontophoresis. We found that DA modulation of prefrontal neurons is not uniform but tailored to specialized neuronal classes. In one population of neurons, DA suppressed activity with high temporal precision but preserved signal/noise ratio. Neurons in this group had short visual response latencies and comprised all recorded narrow-spiking, putative interneurons. In a distinct population, DA increased excitability and enhanced signal/noise ratio by reducing response variability. These neurons had longer visual response latencies and were composed exclusively of broad-spiking, putative pyramidal neurons. By gating sensory inputs to PFC and subsequently strengthening the representation of sensory signals, DA might play an important role in shaping how the PFC initiates appropriate behavior in response to changes in the sensory environment. PMID:23966694

  9. Hippocampal cannabinoid transmission modulates dopamine neuron activity: impact on rewarding memory formation and social interaction.

    PubMed

    Loureiro, Michael; Renard, Justine; Zunder, Jordan; Laviolette, Steven R

    2015-05-01

    Disturbances in cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R) signaling have been linked to emotional and cognitive deficits characterizing neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. Thus, there is growing interest in characterizing the relationship between cannabinoid transmission, emotional processing, and dopamine (DA)-dependent behavioral deficits. The CB1R is highly expressed in the mammalian nervous system, particularly in the hippocampus. Activation of the ventral hippocampal subregion (vHipp) is known to increase both the activity of DAergic neurons located in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and DA levels in reward-related brain regions, particularly the nucleus accumbens (NAc). However, the possible functional relationship between hippocampal CB1R transmission and VTA DA neuronal activity is not currently understood. In this study, using in vivo neuronal recordings in rats, we demonstrate that activation of CB1R in the vHipp strongly increases VTA DA neuronal firing and bursting activity, while simultaneously decreasing the activity of VTA non-DA neurons. Furthermore, using a conditioned place preference procedure and a social interaction test, we report that intra-vHipp CB1R activation potentiates the reward salience of normally sub-threshold conditioning doses of opiates and induces deficits in natural sociability and social recognition behaviors. Finally, these behavioral effects were prevented by directly blocking NAc DAergic transmission. Collectively, these findings identify hippocampal CB1R transmission as a critical modulator of the mesolimbic DA pathway and in the processing of reward and social-related behavioral phenomena. PMID:25510937

  10. Dopamine modulation of GABAergic function enables network stability and input selectivity for sustaining working memory in a computational model of the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Lew, Sergio E; Tseng, Kuei Y

    2014-12-01

    Dopamine modulation of GABAergic transmission in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is thought to be critical for sustaining cognitive processes such as working memory and decision-making. Here, we developed a neurocomputational model of the PFC that includes physiological features of the facilitatory action of dopamine on fast-spiking interneurons to assess how a GABAergic dysregulation impacts on the prefrontal network stability and working memory. We found that a particular non-linear relationship between dopamine transmission and GABA function is required to enable input selectivity in the PFC for the formation and retention of working memory. Either degradation of the dopamine signal or the GABAergic function is sufficient to elicit hyperexcitability in pyramidal neurons and working memory impairments. The simulations also revealed an inverted U-shape relationship between working memory and dopamine, a function that is maintained even at high levels of GABA degradation. In fact, the working memory deficits resulting from reduced GABAergic transmission can be rescued by increasing dopamine tone and vice versa. We also examined the role of this dopamine-GABA interaction for the termination of working memory and found that the extent of GABAergic excitation needed to reset the PFC network begins to occur when the activity of fast-spiking interneurons surpasses 40 Hz. Together, these results indicate that the capability of the PFC to sustain working memory and network stability depends on a robust interplay of compensatory mechanisms between dopamine tone and the activity of local GABAergic interneurons. PMID:24975022

  11. Excitatory synaptic function and plasticity is persistently altered in ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons after prenatal ethanol exposure.

    PubMed

    Hausknecht, Kathryn; Haj-Dahmane, Samir; Shen, Ying-Ling; Vezina, Paul; Dlugos, Cynthia; Shen, Roh-Yu

    2015-03-01

    Prenatal ethanol exposure (PE) is one of the developmental factors leading to increased addiction propensity (risk). However, the neuronal mechanisms underlying this effect remain unknown. We examined whether increased excitatory synaptic transmission in ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons, which is associated with drug addiction, was impacted by PE. Pregnant rats were exposed to ethanol (0 or 6 g/kg/day) via intragastric intubation from gestational day 8-20. Amphetamine self-administration, whole-cell recordings, and electron microscopy were performed in male offspring between 2 and 12-week-old. The results showed enhanced amphetamine self-administration in PE animals. In PE animals, we observed a persistent augmentation in calcium-permeable AMPA receptor (CP-AMPAR) expression, indicated by increased rectification and reduced decay time of AMPAR-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (AMPAR-EPSCs), enhanced depression of AMPAR-EPSCs by NASPM (a selective CP-AMPAR antagonist), and increased GluA3 subunits in VTA DA neuron dendrites. Increased CP-AMPAR expression in PE animals led to enhanced excitatory synaptic strength and the induction of CP-AMPAR-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP), an anti-Hebbian form of LTP. These observations suggest that, in PE animals, increased excitatory synaptic strength in VTA DA neurons might be susceptible to further strengthening even in the absence of impulse flow. The PE-induced persistent increase in CP-AMPAR expression, the resulting enhancement in excitatory synaptic strength, and CP-AMPAR-dependent LTP are similar to effects observed after repeated exposure to drugs of abuse, conditions known to increase addiction risk. Therefore, these mechanisms could be important neuronal substrates underlying PE-induced enhancement in amphetamine self-administration and increased addiction risk in individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. PMID:25284318

  12. Dopamine Receptor Activation Reorganizes Neuronal Ensembles during Hippocampal Sharp Waves In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Miyawaki, Takeyuki; Norimoto, Hiroaki; Ishikawa, Tomoe; Watanabe, Yusuke; Matsuki, Norio; Ikegaya, Yuji

    2014-01-01

    Hippocampal sharp wave (SW)/ripple complexes are thought to contribute to memory consolidation. Previous studies suggest that behavioral rewards facilitate SW occurrence in vivo. However, little is known about the precise mechanism underlying this enhancement. Here, we examined the effect of dopaminergic neuromodulation on spontaneously occurring SWs in acute hippocampal slices. Local field potentials were recorded from the CA1 region. A brief (1 min) treatment with dopamine led to a persistent increase in the event frequency and the magnitude of SWs. This effect lasted at least for our recording period of 45 min and did not occur in the presence of a dopamine D1/D5 receptor antagonist. Functional multineuron calcium imaging revealed that dopamine-induced SW augmentation was associated with an enriched repertoire of the firing patterns in SW events, whereas the overall tendency of individual neurons to participate in SWs and the mean number of cells participating in a single SW were maintained. Therefore, dopaminergic activation is likely to reorganize cell assemblies during SWs. PMID:25089705

  13. Delayed implantation of nigral grafts improves survival of dopamine neurones and rate of functional recovery.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, S R; Fawcett, J W; Dunnett, S B

    1999-04-26

    In order to test the hypothesis that poor survival of dopaminergic neurones in nigral transplants may be due, at least in part, to acute toxic changes in the host striatum within the first hour after injury, we experimentally evaluated the consequences of imposing a brief delay (20 min, 1 or 3 h) between positioning the injection cannula and extruding the graft tissue. A delay of as little as 1 h resulted in a three-fold increase in survival of dopamine neurones in the grafts and a more rapid abolition of amphetamine-induced rotational asymmetry in the host animals. These results suggest that acute but rapidly resolving changes in the host striatal environment induced by the implantation procedure itself can have a significantly deleterious effect on the survival of embryonic nigral grafts. PMID:10363936

  14. α2A adrenergic receptors highly expressed in mesoprefrontal dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Castelli, M Paola; Spiga, Saturnino; Perra, Andrea; Madeddu, Camilla; Mulas, Giovanna; Ennas, M Grazia; Gessa, Gian Luigi

    2016-09-22

    α2 adrenoreceptors (α2-ARs) play a key role in the control of noradrenaline and dopamine release in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Here, using UV-laser microdissection-based quantitative mRNA expression in individual neurons we show that in hTH-GFP rats, a transgenic line exhibiting intense and specific fluorescence in dopaminergic (DA) neurons, α2A adrenoreceptor (α2A-AR) mRNA is expressed at high and low levels in DA cells in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra compacta (SNc), respectively. Confocal microscopy fluorescence immunohistochemistry revealed that α2A-AR immunoreactivity colocalized with tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in nearly all DA cells in the VTA and SNc, both in hTH-GFP rats and their wild-type Sprague-Dawley (SD) counterparts. α2A-AR immunoreactivity was also found in DA axonal projections to the mPFC and dorsal caudate in the hTH-GFP and in the anterogradely labeled DA axonal projections from VTA to mPFC in SD rats. Importantly, the α2A-AR immunoreactivity localized in the DA cells of VTA and in their fibers in the mPFC was much higher than that in DA cells of SNc and their fibers in dorsal caudate, respectively. The finding that α2A-ARs are highly expressed in the cell bodies and axons of mesoprefrontal dopaminergic neurons provides a morphological basis to the vast functional evidence that somatodendritic and nerve-terminal α2A-AR receptors control dopaminergic activity and dopamine release in the prefrontal cortex. This finding raises the question whether α2A-ARs might function as autoreceptors in the mesoprefrontal dopaminergic neurons, replacing the lack of D2 autoreceptors. PMID:27365174

  15. Tonic Firing Rate Controls Dendritic Ca2+ Signaling and Synaptic Gain in Substantia Nigra Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Hage, Travis A.

    2015-01-01

    Substantia nigra dopamine neurons fire tonically resulting in action potential backpropagation and dendritic Ca2+ influx. Using Ca2+ imaging in acute mouse brain slices, we find a surprisingly steep relationship between tonic firing rate and dendritic Ca2+. Increasing the tonic rate from 1 to 6 Hz generated Ca2+ signals up to fivefold greater than predicted by linear summation of single spike-evoked Ca2+-transients. This “Ca2+ supralinearity” was produced largely by depolarization of the interspike voltage leading to activation of subthreshold Ca2+ channels and was present throughout the proximal and distal dendrites. Two-photon glutamate uncaging experiments show somatic depolarization enhances NMDA receptor-mediated Ca2+ signals >400 μm distal to the soma, due to unusually tight electrotonic coupling of the soma to distal dendrites. Consequently, we find that fast tonic firing intensifies synaptically driven burst firing output in dopamine neurons. These results show that modulation of background firing rate precisely tunes dendritic Ca2+ signaling and provides a simple yet powerful mechanism to dynamically regulate the gain of synaptic input. PMID:25855191

  16. Molecular and functional differences in voltage-activated sodium currents between GABA projection neurons and dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra.

    PubMed

    Ding, Shengyuan; Wei, Wei; Zhou, Fu-Ming

    2011-12-01

    GABA projection neurons (GABA neurons) in the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr) and dopamine projection neurons (DA neurons) in substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) have strikingly different firing properties. SNc DA neurons fire low-frequency, long-duration spikes, whereas SNr GABA neurons fire high-frequency, short-duration spikes. Since voltage-activated sodium (Na(V)) channels are critical to spike generation, the different firing properties raise the possibility that, compared with DA neurons, Na(V) channels in SNr GABA neurons have higher density, faster kinetics, and less cumulative inactivation. Our quantitative RT-PCR analysis on immunohistochemically identified nigral neurons indicated that mRNAs for pore-forming Na(V)1.1 and Na(V)1.6 subunits and regulatory Na(V)β1 and Na(v)β4 subunits are more abundant in SNr GABA neurons than SNc DA neurons. These α-subunits and β-subunits are key subunits for forming Na(V) channels conducting the transient Na(V) current (I(NaT)), persistent Na current (I(NaP)), and resurgent Na current (I(NaR)). Nucleated patch-clamp recordings showed that I(NaT) had a higher density, a steeper voltage-dependent activation, and a faster deactivation in SNr GABA neurons than in SNc DA neurons. I(NaT) also recovered more quickly from inactivation and had less cumulative inactivation in SNr GABA neurons than in SNc DA neurons. Furthermore, compared with nigral DA neurons, SNr GABA neurons had a larger I(NaR) and I(NaP). Blockade of I(NaP) induced a larger hyperpolarization in SNr GABA neurons than in SNc DA neurons. Taken together, these results indicate that Na(V) channels expressed in fast-spiking SNr GABA neurons and slow-spiking SNc DA neurons are tailored to support their different spiking capabilities. PMID:21880943

  17. Arithmetic and local circuitry underlying dopamine prediction errors

    PubMed Central

    Eshel, Neir; Bukwich, Michael; Rao, Vinod; Hemmelder, Vivian; Tian, Ju; Uchida, Naoshige

    2015-01-01

    Dopamine neurons are thought to facilitate learning by comparing actual and expected reward1,2. Despite two decades of investigation, little is known about how this comparison is made. To determine how dopamine neurons calculate prediction error, we combined optogenetic manipulations with extracellular recordings in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) while mice engaged in classical conditioning. By manipulating the temporal expectation of reward, we demonstrate that dopamine neurons perform subtraction, a computation that is ideal for reinforcement learning but rarely observed in the brain. Furthermore, selectively exciting and inhibiting neighbouring GABA neurons in the VTA reveals that these neurons are a source of subtraction: they inhibit dopamine neurons when reward is expected, causally contributing to prediction error calculations. Finally, bilaterally stimulating VTA GABA neurons dramatically reduces anticipatory licking to conditioned odours, consistent with an important role for these neurons in reinforcement learning. Together, our results uncover the arithmetic and local circuitry underlying dopamine prediction errors. PMID:26322583

  18. Identification of a new selective dopamine D4 receptor ligand.

    PubMed

    Sampson, Dinithia; Zhu, Xue Y; Eyunni, Suresh V K; Etukala, Jagan R; Ofori, Edward; Bricker, Barbara; Lamango, Nazarius S; Setola, Vincent; Roth, Bryan L; Ablordeppey, Seth Y

    2014-06-15

    The dopamine D4 receptor has been shown to play key roles in certain CNS pathologies including addiction to cigarette smoking. Thus, selective D4 ligands may be useful in treating some of these conditions. Previous studies in our laboratory have indicated that the piperazine analog of haloperidol exhibits selective and increased affinity to the DAD4 receptor subtype, in comparison to its piperidine analog. This led to further exploration of the piperazine moiety to identify new agents that are selective at the D4 receptor. Compound 27 (KiD4=0.84 nM) was the most potent of the compounds tested. However, it only had moderate selectivity for the D4 receptor. Compound 28 (KiD4=3.9 nM) while not as potent, was more discriminatory for the D4 receptor subtype. In fact, compound 28 has little or no binding affinity to any of the other four DA receptor subtypes. In addition, of the 23 CNS receptors evaluated, only two, 5HT1AR and 5HT2BR, have binding affinity constants better than 100 nM (Ki <100 nM). Compound 28 is a potentially useful D4-selective ligand for probing disease treatments involving the D4 receptor, such as assisting smoking cessation, reversing cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and treating erectile dysfunction. Thus, further optimization, functional characterization and evaluation in animal models may be warranted. PMID:24800940

  19. Presynaptic dopamine D2-like receptors inhibit excitatory transmission onto rat ventral tegmental dopaminergic neurones

    PubMed Central

    Koga, Eiko; Momiyama, Toshihiko

    2000-01-01

    The effects of dopamine (DA) on non-NMDA glutamatergic transmission onto dopaminergic neurones in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) were examined in rat midbrain slices using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. EPSCs in dopaminergic neurones evoked by focal stimulation within the VTA were reversibly blocked by 5 μm CNQX in the presence of bicuculline (20 μm), strychnine (0.5 μm) and D-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (D-AP5, 25 μm). Bath application of DA reduced the amplitude of EPSCs up to 65.1 ± 9.52% in a concentration-dependent manner between 0.3–1000 μm (IC50, 16.0 μm) without affecting the holding current at −60 mV measured using a Cs+-filled electrode. The effect of DA on evoked EPSCs was mimicked by the D2-like receptor agonist quinpirole but not by the D1-like receptor agonist SKF 81297, and was antagonized by the D2-like receptor antagonist sulpiride (KB, 0.96 μm), but not by the D1-like receptor antagonist SCH 23390 (KB, 228.6 μm). Dopamine (30 μm) reduced the mean frequency of spontaneous miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs) without affecting their mean amplitude, and the DA-induced effect on the mEPSCs was dependent on the external Ca2+ concentration. These results suggest that afferent glutamatergic fibres which terminate on VTA dopaminergic neurones possess presynaptic D2-like receptors, activation of which inhibits glutamate release by reducing Ca2+ influx. PMID:10673553

  20. Dopamine midbrain neurons in health and Parkinson's disease: emerging roles of voltage-gated calcium channels and ATP-sensitive potassium channels.

    PubMed

    Dragicevic, E; Schiemann, J; Liss, B

    2015-01-22

    Dopamine (DA) releasing midbrain neurons are essential for multiple brain functions, such as voluntary movement, working memory, emotion and cognition. DA midbrain neurons within the substantia nigra (SN) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA) exhibit a variety of distinct axonal projections and cellular properties, and are differentially affected in diseases like schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and Parkinson's disease (PD). Apart from having diverse functions in health and disease states, DA midbrain neurons display distinct electrical activity patterns, crucial for DA release. These activity patterns are generated and modulated by specific sets of ion channels. Recently, two ion channels have been identified, not only contributing to these activity patterns and to functional properties of DA midbrain neurons, but also seem to render SN DA neurons particularly vulnerable to degeneration in PD and its animal models: L-type calcium channels (LTCCs) and ATP-sensitive potassium channels (K-ATPs). In this review, we focus on the emerging physiological and pathophysiological roles of these two ion channels (and their complex interplay with other ion channels), particularly in highly vulnerable SN DA neurons, as selective degeneration of these neurons causes the major motor symptoms of PD. PMID:25450964

  1. Pharmacological targeting of dopamine D3 receptors: Possible clinical applications of selective drugs.

    PubMed

    Pich, Emilio Merlo; Collo, Ginetta

    2015-09-01

    Dopamine D3 receptors have been pharmacologically engaged in humans since the development of the first antipsychotics and ergot-derivative dopamine (DA) agonists, even without knowing it. These agents were generally non-selective, developed primarily to target D2 receptors. In the last 10 years the understanding of the clinical implication of D3 receptors has been progressing also due to the identification of D3 gene polymorphisms, the use of more selective PET ligands such as [(11)C]-(+)-PHNO and the learning regarding the clinical use of the D3-preferential D2/D3 agonists ropinirole and pramipexole. A new specific neuroplasticity role of D3 receptor regarding dendrite arborisation outgrowth in dopaminergic neurons was also proposed to support, at least in part, the slowing of disease observed in subjects with Parkinson׳s Disease treated with DA agonists. Similar mechanisms could be at the basis of the antidepressant-like effects observed with DA agonists when co-administered with standard of care. Severe adverse event occurring with the use of anti-parkinsonian DA agonists in predisposed subjects, i.e., impulse control disorders, are now suggested to be putatively related to overactive D3 receptors. Not surprisingly, blockade of D3 receptors was proposed as treatment for addictive disorders, a goal that could be potentially achieved by repositioning buspirone, an anxiolytic drug with D3-preferential antagonistic features, or with novel selective D3 antagonists or partial agonists currently in development for schizophrenia. At the moment ABT-925 is the only selective D3 antagonist tested in schizophrenic patients in Phase II, showing an intriguing cognitive enhancing effects supported by preclinical data. Finally, exploratory pharmacogenetic analysis suggested that ABT-925 could be effective in a subpopulation of patients with a polymorphism on the D3 receptor, opening to a possible personalised medicine approach. PMID:26298833

  2. Effects of Ex Vivo Transduction of Mesencephalic Reaggregates with Bcl-2 on Grafted Dopamine Neuron Survival

    PubMed Central

    Sortwell, Caryl E.; Bowers, William J.; Counts, Scott E.; Pitzer, Mark R.; Fleming, Matthew F.; McGuire, Susan O.; Maguire-Zeiss, Kathleen A.; Federoff, Howard J.; Collier, Timothy J.

    2007-01-01

    Survival rates of dopamine (DA) neurons grafted to the denervated striatum are extremely poor (5-20%). Gene transfer of survival promoting factors, such as the anti-apoptotic protein bcl-2, to mesencephalic DA neurons prior to transplantation (ex vivo transduction) offers a novel approach to increase graft survival. However, specific criteria to assess the efficacy of various vectors must be adhered to in order to reasonably predict successful gene transfer with appropriate timing and levels of protein expression. Cell culture results utilizing three different herpes simplex virus (HSV) vectors to deliver the reporter ß-galactosidase gene (lacZ) indicate that transduction of mesencephalic cells with a helper virus-free HSV amplicon (HF HSVTH9lac) that harbors the 9-kb tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) promoter to drive lacZ gene expression elicits the transduction of the highest percentage (≈50%) of TH-immunoreactive (THir) neurons without significant cytotoxic effects. This transduction efficiency and limited cytotoxicity was superior to that observed following transduction with helper virus-containing HSV (HC HSVlac) and helper virus-free HSV amplicons (HF HSVlac) expressing lacZ under the transcriptional control of the HSV immediate-early 4/5 gene promoter. Subsequently, we assessed the ability of HSV-TH9lac and the bcl-2 expressing HSV-TH9bcl-2 amplicon to transduce mesencephalic reaggregates. Although an increase in bcl-2 and ß-galactosidase protein was induced by transduction, amplicon-mediated overexpression of bcl-2 did not lead to an increase in grafted THir neuron number. Even with highly efficient viral vector-mediated transduction, our results demonstrate that ex vivo gene transfer of bcl-2 to mesencephalic reaggregates is ineffective in increasing grafted DA neuron survival. PMID:17196186

  3. Route of Nicotine Administration Influences In Vivo Dopamine Neuron Activity: Habituation, Needle Injection, and Cannula Infusion

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Yu; Zhang, Tianxiang; Li, Wei; Doyon, William; Dani, John A.

    2010-01-01

    Mesolimbic dopamine (DA) systems play a critical role in tobacco addiction driven by nicotine. Nicotine activates midbrain DA neurons and, consequently, elevates DA concentrations in targets, especially in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of the ventral striatum. The route of drug administration influences the impact of addictive drugs. Here, we examine whether the nature of the administration alters DA neuron activity and DA concentrations in the NAc. Using unhabituated naïve freely moving rats, microdialysis measurements showed that nicotine administered via needle injection caused greater DA release in the NAc than the same dose administered via an implanted chronic cannula. After habituation to the needle injections, however, there was no significant difference in DA signaling between the needle and cannula routes of administration. Consistent with these microdialysis results after habituation, our in vivo tetrode unit recordings showed no significant difference in midbrain DA neuron activity in response to nicotine delivered by needle or cannula as long as predictive cues were avoided. PMID:19714495

  4. On the selectivity of neuronal NOS inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Pigott, B; Bartus, K; Garthwaite, J

    2013-01-01

    Background and Purpose Isoform-selective inhibitors of NOS enzymes are desirable as research tools and for potential therapeutic purposes. Vinyl-l-N-5-(1-imino-3-butenyl)-l-ornithine (l-VNIO) and Nω-propyl-l-arginine (NPA) purportedly have good selectivity for neuronal over endothelial NOS under cell-free conditions, as does N-[(3-aminomethyl)benzyl]acetamidine (1400W), which is primarily an inducible NOS inhibitor. Although used in numerous investigations in vitro and in vivo, there have been surprisingly few tests of the potency and selectivity of these compounds in cells. This study addresses this deficiency and evaluates the activity of new and potentially better pyrrolidine-based compounds. Experimental Approach The inhibitors were evaluated by measuring their effect on NMDA-evoked cGMP accumulation in rodent hippocampal slices, a response dependent on neuronal NOS, and ACh-evoked cGMP synthesis in aortic rings of the same animals, an endothelial NOS-dependent phenomenon. Key Results l-VNIO, NPA and 1400W inhibited responses in both tissues but all showed less than fivefold higher potency in the hippocampus than in the aorta, implying useless selectivity for neuronal over endothelial NOS at the tissue level. In addition, the inhibitors had a 25-fold lower potency in the hippocampus than reported previously, the IC50 values being approximately 1 μM for l-VNIO and NPA, and 150 μM for 1400W. Pyrrolidine-based inhibitors were similarly weak and nonselective. Conclusion and Implications The results suggest that l-VNIO, NPA and 1400W, as well as the newer pyrrolidine-type inhibitors, cannot be used as neuronal NOS inhibitors in cells without stringent verification. The identification of inhibitors with useable selectivity in cells and tissues remains an important goal. PMID:23072468

  5. Edaravone Guards Dopamine Neurons in a Rotenone Model for Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chunnuan; Huang, Jinsha; Zhao, Ying; Zhang, Zhentao; Qiao, Xian; Feng, Yuan; Reesaul, Harrish; Zhang, Yongxue; Sun, Shenggang; Lin, Zhicheng; Wang, Tao

    2011-01-01

    3-methyl-1-phenyl-2-pyrazolin-5-one (edaravone), an effective free radical scavenger, provides neuroprotection in stroke models and patients. In this study, we investigated its neuroprotective effects in a chronic rotenone rat model for Parkinson's disease. Here we showed that a five-week treatment with edaravone abolished rotenone's activity to induce catalepsy, damage mitochondria and degenerate dopamine neurons in the midbrain of rotenone-treated rats. This abolishment was attributable at least partly to edaravone's inhibition of rotenone-induced reactive oxygen species production or apoptotic promoter Bax expression and its up-regulation of the vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) expression. Collectively, edaravone may provide novel clinical therapeutics for PD. PMID:21677777

  6. AMP kinase regulates ligand-gated K-ATP channels in substantia nigra dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Shen, Ke-Zhong; Wu, Yan-Na; Munhall, Adam C; Johnson, Steven W

    2016-08-25

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a master enzyme that regulates ATP-sensitive K(+) (K-ATP) channels in pancreatic beta-cells and cardiac myocytes. We used patch pipettes to record currents and potentials to investigate effects of AMPK on K-ATP currents in substantia nigra compacta (SNC) dopamine neurons in slices of rat midbrain. When slices were superfused repeatedly with the K-ATP channel opener diazoxide, we were surprised to find that diazoxide currents gradually increased in magnitude, reaching 300% of the control value 60min after starting whole-cell recording. However, diazoxide current increased significantly more, to 472% of control, when recorded in the presence of the AMPK activator A769662. Moreover, superfusing the slice with the AMPK blocking agent dorsomorphin significantly reduced diazoxide current to 38% of control. Control experiments showed that outward currents evoked by the K-ATP channel opener NN-414 also increased over time, but not currents evoked by the GABAB agonist baclofen. Delaying the application of diazoxide after starting whole-cell recording correlated with augmentation of current. Loose-patch recording showed that diazoxide produced a 34% slowing of spontaneous firing rate that did not intensify with repeated applications of diazoxide. However, superfusion with A769662 significantly augmented the inhibitory effect of diazoxide on firing rate. We conclude that K-ATP channel function is augmented by AMPK, which is activated during the process of making whole-cell recordings. Our results suggest that AMPK and K-ATP interactions may play an important role in regulating dopamine neuronal excitability. PMID:27267246

  7. The vulnerability of nigral neurons to Parkinson's disease is unrelated to their intrinsic capacity for dopamine synthesis: an in situ hybridization study.

    PubMed

    Kingsbury, A E; Marsden, C D; Foster, O J

    1999-03-01

    The contribution of the dopamine-synthetic capacity of nigral neuronal subregions to their vulnerability to degeneration in idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD) was explored using semiquantitative in situ hybridization to study expression of mRNA encoding the rate-limiting dopamine synthetic enzyme, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). Expression of mRNA, the structural protein, beta-tubulin, and the glycolytic enzyme, fructose-1,6, biphosphate aldolase (aldolase C) was studied in parallel in individual neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) in matched groups of IPD and control subjects. TH mRNA expression was found to be heterogeneously expressed in nigral neurons in control and IPD subjects. There was no significant difference in mean values for TH mRNA expression between control and IPD cases and none between nigral subregions, either in control subjects or in established IPD subjects in this study, but there was evidence for a selective upregulation of TH mRNA expression in non-melanized neurons in IPD. There was no relationship between TH mRNA expression disease duration or L-dopa dosage in the IPD group. Mean TH mRNA values for two additional 40-year-old control subjects fell within the range of values of the aged-control group. Aldolase C and beta-tubulin expression did not differ between control and IPD groups or between nigral subregions. These findings suggest that regulation of dopamine synthesis at the level of the cell body does not play a part in determining the pattern of nigral cell vulnerability in IPD. The heterogeneous pattern of TH synthesis was not age-dependent and may be of physiological significance in nigral function. There was no evidence for compensatory upregulation of TH synthesis in surviving melanized neurons in IPD but non-melanized neurons may be involved in this process. Surviving nigral neurons in IPD appear to retain the capacity for normal aldolase C and beta-tubulin peptide synthesis. Long-term L-dopa treatment does not

  8. Loss of the trpc4 gene is associated with a reduction in cocaine self-administration and reduced spontaneous ventral tegmental area dopamine neuronal activity, without deficits in learning for natural rewards.

    PubMed

    Klipec, William D; Burrow, Kristin R; O'Neill, Casey; Cao, Jun-Li; Lawyer, Chloe R; Ostertag, Eric; Fowler, Melissa; Bachtell, Ryan K; Illig, Kurt R; Cooper, Donald C

    2016-06-01

    Among the canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC) channels, the TRPC4 non-selective cation channel is one of the most abundantly expressed subtypes within mammalian corticolimbic brain regions, but its functional and behavioral role is unknown. To identify a function for TRPC4 channels we compared the performance of rats with a genetic knockout of the trpc4 gene (trpc4 KO) to wild-type (WT) controls on the acquisition of simple and complex learning for natural rewards, and on cocaine self-administration (SA). Despite the abundant distribution of TRPC4 channels through the corticolimbic brain regions, we found trpc4 KO rats exhibited normal learning in Y-maze and complex reversal shift paradigms. However, a deficit was observed in cocaine SA in the trpc4 KO group, which infused significantly less cocaine than WT controls despite displaying normal sucrose SA. Given the important role of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons in cocaine SA, we hypothesized that TRPC4 channels may regulate basal dopamine neuron excitability. Double-immunolabeling showed a selective expression of TRPC4 channels in a subpopulation of putative dopamine neurons in the VTA. Ex vivo recordings of spontaneous VTA dopamine neuronal activity from acute brain slices revealed fewer cells with high-frequency firing rates in trpc4 KO rats compared to WT controls. Since deletion of the trpc4 gene does not impair learning involving natural rewards, but reduces cocaine SA, these data demonstrate a potentially novel role for TRPC4 channels in dopamine systems and may offer a new pharmacological target for more effective treatment of a variety of dopamine disorders. PMID:26988269

  9. Modifications of the input currents on VTA dopamine neurons following acute versus chronic cocaine exposure.

    PubMed

    Michaeli, Avner; Matzner, Henry; Poltyrev, Tatyana; Yaka, Rami

    2012-03-01

    Excitatory synapses on dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are modulated following exposure to various addictive drugs, including cocaine. Previously we have shown that cocaine affects GABA(A) receptor (GABA(A)R)-mediated neurotransmission in VTA DA neurons. This finding led us to reexamine the modulation of the excitatory synapse on these neurons in response to cocaine exposure, while the activity of GABA(A)R is uninterrupted. Using rat brain slices, evoked post synaptic currents (ePSC) were monitored and inhibitors of NMDA receptor (NMDAR) and AMPA receptor (AMPAR) were gradually added to inhibitors-free bath solution. Modifications in the efficacy of the excitatory synapses were evaluated by comparing AMPAR-mediated and NMDAR-mediated currents (AMPA/NMDA ratio). The lack of GABA(A)R inhibitors enabled us to examine parallel changes in the relation between GABA(A)R-mediated and NMDAR-mediated currents (GABA(A)/NMDA ratio). First, we found that AMPA/NMDA ratio measured under complete availability of GABA(A)R, is significantly higher than the ratio measured under GABA(A)R blockade. In addition, GABA(A)/NMDA ratio, but not AMPA/NMDA ratio, is augmented a few hours following in vitro acute cocaine exposure. When measured 24 h after in vivo single cocaine injection, no change in GABA(A)/NMDA ratio was observed, however, the AMPA/NMDA ratio was found to be significantly higher. Finally, a decrease in both ratios was detected in rats repeatedly injected with cocaine. Taken together, these results lead to a better understanding of the means by which cocaine modifies synaptic inputs on VTA DA neurons. The parallel changes in GABA(A)/NMDA ratio may suggest an interaction between inhibitory and excitatory neural systems. PMID:22197515

  10. Increasing Endocannabinoid Levels in the Ventral Pallidum Restore Aberrant Dopamine Neuron Activity in the Subchronic PCP Rodent Model of Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Li; Lodge, Daniel J

    2015-01-01

    Background: Schizophrenia is a debilitating disorder that affects 1% of the US population. While the exogenous administration of cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol is reported to exacerbate psychosis in schizophrenia patients, augmenting the levels of endogenous cannabinoids has gained attention as a possible alternative therapy to schizophrenia due to clinical and preclinical observations. Thus, patients with schizophrenia demonstrate an inverse relationship between psychotic symptoms and levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide. In addition, increasing endocannabinoid levels (by blockade of enzymatic degradation) has been reported to attenuate social withdrawal in a preclinical model of schizophrenia. Here we examine the effects of increasing endogenous cannabinoids on dopamine neuron activity in the sub-chronic phencyclidine (PCP) model. Aberrant dopamine system function is thought to underlie the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. Methods: Using in vivo extracellular recordings in chloral hydrate–anesthetized rats, we now demonstrate an increase in dopamine neuron population activity in PCP-treated rats. Results: Interestingly, endocannabinoid upregulation, induced by URB-597, was able to normalize this aberrant dopamine neuron activity. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the ventral pallidum is the site where URB-597 acts to restore ventral tegmental area activity. Conclusions: Taken together, we provide preclinical evidence that augmenting endogenous cannabinoids may be an effective therapy for schizophrenia, acting in part to restore ventral pallidal activity. PMID:25539511

  11. Glucocorticoid receptor gene inactivation in dopamine-innervated areas selectively decreases behavioral responses to amphetamine

    PubMed Central

    Parnaudeau, Sébastien; Dongelmans, Marie-louise; Turiault, Marc; Ambroggi, Frédéric; Delbes, Anne-Sophie; Cansell, Céline; Luquet, Serge; Piazza, Pier-Vincenzo; Tronche, François; Barik, Jacques

    2014-01-01

    The meso-cortico-limbic system, via dopamine release, encodes the rewarding and reinforcing properties of natural rewards. It is also activated in response to abused substances and is believed to support drug-related behaviors. Dysfunctions of this system lead to several psychiatric conditions including feeding disorders and drug addiction. These disorders are also largely influenced by environmental factors and in particular stress exposure. Stressors activate the corticotrope axis ultimately leading to glucocorticoid hormone (GCs) release. GCs bind the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) a transcription factor ubiquitously expressed including within the meso-cortico-limbic tract. While GR within dopamine-innervated areas drives cocaine's behavioral responses, its implication in responses to other psychostimulants such as amphetamine has never been clearly established. Moreover, while extensive work has been made to uncover the role of this receptor in addicted behaviors, its contribution to the rewarding and reinforcing properties of food has yet to be investigated. Using mouse models carrying GR gene inactivation in either dopamine neurons or in dopamine-innervated areas, we found that GR in dopamine responsive neurons is essential to properly build amphetamine-induced conditioned place preference and locomotor sensitization. c-Fos quantification in the nucleus accumbens further confirmed defective neuronal activation following amphetamine injection. These diminished neuronal and behavioral responses to amphetamine may involve alterations in glutamate transmission as suggested by the decreased MK801-elicited hyperlocomotion and by the hyporeactivity to glutamate of a subpopulation of medium spiny neurons. In contrast, GR inactivation did not affect rewarding and reinforcing properties of food suggesting that responding for natural reward under basal conditions is preserved in these mice. PMID:24574986

  12. Electrical coupling between model midbrain dopamine neurons: effects on firing pattern and synchrony.

    PubMed

    Komendantov, Alexander O; Canavier, Carmen C

    2002-03-01

    The role of gap junctions between midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons in mechanisms of firing pattern generation and synchronization has not been well characterized experimentally. We modified a multi-compartment model of DA neuron by adding a spike-generating mechanism and electrically coupling the dendrites of two such neurons through gap junctions. The burst-generating mechanism in the model neuron results from the interaction of a N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-induced current and the sodium pump. The firing patterns exhibited by the two model neurons included low frequency (2-7 Hz) spiking, high-frequency (13-20 Hz) spiking, irregular spiking, regular bursting, irregular bursting, and leader/follower bursting, depending on the parameter values used for the permeability for NMDA-induced current and the conductance for electrical coupling. All of these firing patterns have been observed in physiological neurons, but a systematic dependence of the firing pattern on the covariation of these two parameters has not been established experimentally. Our simulations indicate that electrical coupling facilitates NMDA-induced burst firing via two mechanisms. The first can be observed in a pair of identical cells. At low frequencies (low NMDA), as coupling strength was increased, only a transition from asynchronous to synchronous single-spike firing was observed. At high frequencies (high NMDA), increasing the strength of the electrical coupling in an identical pair resulted in a transition from high-frequency single-spike firing to burst firing, and further increases led to synchronous high-frequency spiking. Weak electrical coupling destabilizes the synchronous solution of the fast spiking subsystems, and in the presence of a slowly varying sodium concentration, the desynchronized spiking solution leads to bursts that are approximately in phase with spikes that are not in phase. Thus this transitional mechanism depends critically on action potential dynamics. The second

  13. Stimulation of the Rat Subthalamic Nucleus is Neuroprotective Following Significant Nigral Dopamine Neuron Loss

    PubMed Central

    Spieles-Engemann, A. L.; Behbehani, M. M.; Collier, T. J.; Wohlgenant, S. L.; Steece-Collier, K.; Paumier, K.; Daley, B. F.; Gombash, S.; Madhavan, L.; Mandybur, G. T.; Lipton, J.W.; Terpstra, B.T.; Sortwell, C.E.

    2010-01-01

    Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN-DBS) is efficacious in treating the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, the impact of STN-DBS on the progression of PD is unknown. Previous preclinical studies have demonstrated that STN-DBS can attenuate the degeneration of a relatively intact nigrostriatal system from dopamine (DA)-depleting neurotoxins. The present study examined whether STN-DBS can provide neuroprotection in the face of prior significant nigral DA neuron loss similar to PD patients at the time of diagnosis. STN-DBS between two and four weeks after intrastriatal 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) provided significant sparing of DA neurons in the SN of rats. This effect was not due to inadvertent lesioning of the STN and was dependent upon proper electrode placement. Since STN-DBS appears to have significant neuroprotective properties, initiation of STN-DBS earlier in the course of PD may provide added neuroprotective benefits in addition to its ability to provide symptomatic relief. PMID:20307668

  14. Pontomesencephalic Tegmental Afferents to VTA Non-dopamine Neurons Are Necessary for Appetitive Pavlovian Learning.

    PubMed

    Yau, Hau-Jie; Wang, Dong V; Tsou, Jen-Hui; Chuang, Yi-Fang; Chen, Billy T; Deisseroth, Karl; Ikemoto, Satoshi; Bonci, Antonello

    2016-09-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) receives phenotypically distinct innervations from the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg). While PPTg-to-VTA inputs are thought to play a critical role in stimulus-reward learning, direct evidence linking PPTg-to-VTA phenotypically distinct inputs in the learning process remains lacking. Here, we used optogenetic approaches to investigate the functional contribution of PPTg excitatory and inhibitory inputs to the VTA in appetitive Pavlovian conditioning. We show that photoinhibition of PPTg-to-VTA cholinergic or glutamatergic inputs during cue presentation dampens the development of anticipatory approach responding to the food receptacle during the cue. Furthermore, we employed in vivo optetrode recordings to show that photoinhibition of PPTg cholinergic or glutamatergic inputs significantly decreases VTA non-dopamine (non-DA) neural activity. Consistently, photoinhibition of VTA non-DA neurons disrupts the development of cue-elicited anticipatory approach responding. Taken together, our study reveals a crucial regulatory mechanism by PPTg excitatory inputs onto VTA non-DA neurons during appetitive Pavlovian conditioning. PMID:27568569

  15. Melanocortin 4 receptor signaling in dopamine 1 receptor neurons is required for procedural memory learning

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Huxing; Mason, Brittany L.; Lee, Charlotte; Nishi, Akinori; Elmquist, Joel K; Lutter, Michael

    2012-01-01

    It is now widely recognized that exposure to palatable foods engages reward circuits that promote over-eating and facilitate the development of obesity. While the melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) has previously been shown to regulate food intake and energy expenditure, little is known about its role in food reward. We demonstrate that MC4R is co-expressed with the dopamine 1 receptor (D1R) in the ventral striatum. While MC4R-null mice are hyperphagic and obese, they exhibit impairments in acquisition of operant responding for a high fat reinforcement. Restoration of MC4R signaling in D1R neurons normalizes procedural learning without affecting motivation to obtain high fat diet. MC4R signaling in D1R neurons is also required for learning in a non-food-reinforced version of the cued water maze. Finally, MC4R signaling in neostriatal slices increases phosphorylation of the Thr34 residue of DARPP-32, a protein phosphatase-1 inhibitor that regulates synaptic plasticity. These data identify a novel requirement for MC4R signaling in procedural memory learning. PMID:22342812

  16. D2 dopamine receptors modulate neuronal resonance in subthalamic nucleus and cortical high-voltage spindles through HCN channels.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chen; Yan, Zhiqiang; Zhao, Bo; Wang, Julei; Gao, Guodong; Zhu, Junling; Wang, Wenting

    2016-06-01

    The high-voltage spindles (HVSs), one of the characteristic oscillations that include theta frequencies in the basal ganglia (BG)-cortical system, are involved in immobile behavior and show increasing power in Parkinson's disease (PD). Our previous results suggested that the D2 dopamine receptor might be involved in HVSs modulations in a rat model of PD. Membrane resonance is one of the cellular mechanisms of network oscillation; therefore, we investigated how dopamine modulates the theta frequency membrane resonance of neurons in the subthalamic nucleus (STN), a central pacemaker of BG, and whether such changes in STN neurons subsequently alter HVSs in the BG-cortical system. In particular, we tested whether dopamine modulates HVSs through hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels-dependent membrane resonance in STN neurons. We found that an antagonist of D2 receptors, but not of D1 receptors, inhibited membrane resonance and HCN currents of STN neurons through a G-protein activity in acute brain slices. Our further in vivo experiments using local injection of a D2 receptor antagonist or an HCN blocker in STNs of free-moving rats showed an increase in HVSs power and correlation in the BG-cortical system. Local injection of lamotrigine, an HCN agonist, counteracted the effect induced by the D2 antagonist. Taken together, our results revealed a potential cellular mechanism underlying HVSs activity modulation in the BG-cortical system, i.e. tuning HCN activities in STN neurons through dopamine D2 receptors. Our findings might lead to a new direction in PD treatment by providing promising new drug targets for HVSs activity modulation. PMID:26808313

  17. The Role of Parkin in the Differential Susceptibility of Tuberoinfundibular and Nigrostriatal Dopamine Neurons to Acute Toxicant Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Benskey, Matthew J.; Manfredsson, Fredric P.; Lookingland, Keith J.; Goudreau, John L.

    2014-01-01

    Parkinson Disease causes degeneration of nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) neurons, while tuberoinfundibular DA neurons remain unaffected. A similar pattern is observed following exposure to 1-methy-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyradine (MPTP). The mechanism of tuberoinfundibular neuronal recovery from MPTP is associated with up-regulation of parkin protein. Here we tested if parkin mediates tuberoinfundibular neuronal recovery from MPTP by knocking-down parkin in tuberoinfundibular neurons using recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV), expressing a short hairpin RNA (shRNA) directed toward parkin. Following knockdown, axon terminal DA and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) concentrations were analyzed 24 hours post-MPTP administration. rAAV-shRNA-mediated knockdown of endogenous parkin rendered tuberoinfundibular neurons susceptible to MPTP induced terminal DA loss, but not TH loss, within 24 hours post-MPTP. To determine if the neuroprotective benefits of parkin up-regulation could be translated to nigrostriatal neurons, rAAV expressing human parkin was injected into the substantia nigra of mice and axon terminal DA and TH concentrations were analyzed 24 hours post-MPTP. Nigral parkin over-expression prevented loss of TH in the axon terminals and soma of nigrostriatal neurons, but had no effect on terminal DA loss within 24h post-MPTP. These data show that parkin is necessary for the recovery of terminal DA concentrations within tuberoinfundibular neurons following acute MPTP administration, and parkin can rescue MPTP-induced decreases in TH within nigrostriatal neurons. PMID:25447324

  18. Volume Transmission in Central Dopamine and Noradrenaline Neurons and Its Astroglial Targets.

    PubMed

    Fuxe, Kjell; Agnati, Luigi F; Marcoli, Manuela; Borroto-Escuela, Dasiel O

    2015-12-01

    Already in the 1960s the architecture and pharmacology of the brainstem dopamine (DA) and noradrenaline (NA) neurons with formation of vast numbers of DA and NA terminal plexa of the central nervous system (CNS) indicated that they may not only communicate via synaptic transmission. In the 1980s the theory of volume transmission (VT) was introduced as a major communication together with synaptic transmission in the CNS. VT is an extracellular and cerebrospinal fluid transmission of chemical signals like transmitters, modulators etc. moving along energy gradients making diffusion and flow of VT signals possible. VT interacts with synaptic transmission mainly through direct receptor-receptor interactions in synaptic and extrasynaptic heteroreceptor complexes and their signaling cascades. The DA and NA neurons are specialized for extrasynaptic VT at the soma-dendrtitic and terminal level. The catecholamines released target multiple DA and adrenergic subtypes on nerve cells, astroglia and microglia which are the major cell components of the trophic units building up the neural-glial networks of the CNS. DA and NA VT can modulate not only the strength of synaptic transmission but also the VT signaling of the astroglia and microglia of high relevance for neuron-glia interactions. The catecholamine VT targeting astroglia can modulate the fundamental functions of astroglia observed in neuroenergetics, in the Glymphatic system, in the central renin-angiotensin system and in the production of long-distance calcium waves. Also the astrocytic and microglial DA and adrenergic receptor subtypes mediating DA and NA VT can be significant drug targets in neurological and psychiatric disease. PMID:25894681

  19. Modulation of cue-induced firing of ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons by leptin and ghrelin

    PubMed Central

    van der Plasse, G; van Zessen, R; Luijendijk, M C M; Erkan, H; Stuber, G D; Ramakers, G M J; Adan, R A H

    2015-01-01

    Background/objectives: The rewarding value of palatable foods contributes to overconsumption, even in satiated subjects. Midbrain dopaminergic activity in response to reward-predicting environmental stimuli drives reward-seeking and motivated behavior for food rewards. This mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system is sensitive to changes in energy balance, yet it has thus far not been established whether reward signaling of DA neurons in vivo is under control of hormones that signal appetite and energy balance such as ghrelin and leptin. Subjects/methods: We trained rats (n=11) on an operant task in which they could earn two different food rewards. We then implanted recording electrodes in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and recorded from DA neurons during behavior. Subsequently, we assessed the effects of mild food restriction and pretreatment with the adipose tissue-derived anorexigenic hormone leptin or the orexigenic hormone ghrelin on VTA DA reward signaling. Results: Animals showed an increase in performance following mild food restriction (P=0.002). Importantly, food-cue induced DA firing increased when animals were food restricted (P=0.02), but was significantly attenuated after leptin pretreatment (P=0.00). While ghrelin did affect baseline DA activity (P=0.025), it did not affect cue-induced firing (P⩾0.353). Conclusions: Metabolic signals, such as leptin, affect food seeking, a process that is dependent on the formation of cue-reward outcomes and involves midbrain DA signaling. These data show that food restriction engages the encoding of food cues by VTA DA neurons at a millisecond level and leptin suppresses this activity. This suggests that leptin is a key in linking metabolic information to reward signaling. PMID:26183405

  20. Disappearance of hoarding behavior after 6-hydroxydopamine lesions of the mesolimbic dopamine neurons and its reinstatement with L-dopa.

    PubMed

    Kelley, A E; Stinus, L

    1985-06-01

    The consequences of 6-hydroxydopamine lesions of the mesolimbic dopamine system on hoarding behavior were investigated in the rat. Specific lesions of this system, at the level of either the ventral tegmental area or the nucleus accumbens, resulted in abolition or severe reduction of hoarding activity. Similar lesions of the forebrain noradrenaline neurons did not affect hoarding. In further experiments, amphetamine and apomorphine locomotor responses, spontaneous motor behavior, food intake and eating patterns, and the existence of any regulatory deficits were examined. A subtle disorganization of eating patterns was found in animals with mesolimbic-dopamine lesions. It was determined that the hoarding deficit could not be due to motor, ingestive, or regulatory impairments. In a final experiment, it was demonstrated that hoarding behavior can be restored to control levels in dopamine-lesion rats by prior treatment with the catecholamine presursor L-dopa. These findings suggest that hoarding activity is mediated by mesolimbic dopamine neurons, and it is hypothesized that this system is necessary for the facilitation of certain types of foraging responses under a high level of arousal. PMID:3939664

  1. Selective optogenetic activation of rostral ventrolateral medullary catecholaminergic neurons produces cardiorespiratory stimulationin conscious mice

    PubMed Central

    Abbott, Stephen B.G.; DePuy, Seth D.; Nguyen, Thanh; Coates, Melissa; Stornetta, Ruth L.; Guyenet, Patrice G.

    2013-01-01

    Activation of rostral ventrolateral medullary catecholaminergic (RVLM-CA) neurons e.g. by hypoxia is thought to increase sympathetic outflow thereby raising blood pressure (BP). Here we test whether these neurons also regulate breathing and cardiovascular variables other than BP. Selective expression of ChR2-mCherry by RVLM-CA neurons was achieved by injecting Cre-dependent vector AAV2-EF1α-DIO-ChR2-mCherry unilaterally into RVLM of dopamine-beta-hydroxylaseCre/0 (DβHCre/0) mice. Photostimulation of RVLM-CA neurons increased breathing in anesthetized and conscious mice. In conscious mice, photostimulation primarily increased breathing frequency and this effect was fully occluded by hypoxia (10% O2). In contrast, the effects of photostimulation were largely unaffected by hypercapnia (3 and 6% CO2). The associated cardiovascular effects were complex (slight bradycardia and hypotension) and, using selective autonomic blockers, could be explained by co-activation of the sympathetic and cardiovagal outflows. ChR2-positive RVLM-CA neurons expressed VGLUT2 and their projections were mapped. Their complex cardiorespiratory effects are presumably mediated by their extensive projections to supraspinal sites such as the ventrolateral medulla, the dorsal vagal complex, the dorsolateral pons, and selected hypothalamic nuclei (dorsomedial, lateral, paraventricular nuclei). In sum, selective optogenetic activation of RVLM-CA neurons in conscious mice revealed two important novel functions of these neurons, namely breathing stimulation and cardiovagal outflow control, effects that are attenuated or absent under anesthesia and are presumably mediated by the numerous supraspinal projections of these neurons. The results also suggest that RVLM-CA neurons may underlie some of the acute respiratory response elicited by carotid body stimulation but contribute little to the central respiratory chemoreflex. PMID:23407970

  2. Neuropeptide co-release with GABA may explain functional non-monotonic uncertainty responses in dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Tan, Can Ozan; Bullock, Daniel

    2008-01-17

    Co-release of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA and the neuropeptide substance-P (SP) from single axons is a conspicuous feature of the basal ganglia, yet its computational role, if any, has not been resolved. In a new learning model, co-release of GABA and SP from axons of striatal projection neurons emerges as a highly efficient way to compute the uncertainty responses that are exhibited by dopamine (DA) neurons when animals adapt to probabilistic contingencies between rewards and the stimuli that predict their delivery. Such uncertainty-related dopamine release appears to be an adaptive phenotype, because it promotes behavioral switching at opportune times. Understanding the computational linkages between SP and DA in the basal ganglia is important, because Huntington's disease is characterized by massive SP depletion, whereas Parkinson's disease is characterized by massive DA depletion. PMID:18053647

  3. Optogenetics reveals a role for accumbal medium spiny neurons expressing dopamine D2 receptors in cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization

    PubMed Central

    Song, Shelly Sooyun; Kang, Byeong Jun; Wen, Lei; Lee, Hyo Jin; Sim, Hye-ri; Kim, Tae Hyong; Yoon, Sehyoun; Yoon, Bong-June; Augustine, George J.; Baik, Ja-Hyun

    2014-01-01

    Long-lasting, drug-induced adaptations within the nucleus accumbens (NAc) have been proposed to contribute to drug-mediated addictive behaviors. Here we have used an optogenetic approach to examine the role of NAc medium spiny neurons (MSNs) expressing dopamine D2 receptors (D2Rs) in cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization. Adeno-associated viral vectors encoding channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) were delivered into the NAc of D2R-Cre transgenic mice. This allowed us to selectively photostimulate D2R-MSNs in NAc. D2R-MSNs form local inhibitory circuits, because photostimulation of D2R-MSN evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in neighboring MSNs. Photostimulation of NAc D2R-MSN in vivo affected neither the initiation nor the expression of cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization. However, photostimulation during the drug withdrawal period attenuated expression of cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization. These results show that D2R-MSNs of NAc play a key role in withdrawal-induced plasticity and may contribute to relapse after cessation of drug abuse. PMID:25352792

  4. iPS Cell-Derived Dopamine Neurons Reveal Differences between Monozygotic Twins Discordant for Parkinson’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Woodard, Chris M.; Campos, Brian A.; Kuo, Sheng-Han; Nirenberg, Melissa J.; Nestor, Michael W.; Zimmer, Matthew; Mosharov, Eugene; Sulzer, David; Zhou, Hongyan; Paull, Daniel; Clark, Lorraine; Schadt, Eric E.; Sardi, Sergio Pablo; Rubin, Lee; Eggan, Kevin; Brock, Mathew; Lipnick, Scott; Rao, Mahendra; Chang, Stephen; Li, Aiqun; Noggle, Scott

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Parkinson’s disease (PD) has been attributed to a combination of genetic and non-genetic factors. We studied a set of monozygotic twins harboring the heterozygous glucocerebrosidase mutation (GBA N370S) but clinically discordant for PD. We applied induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology for PD disease modeling using the twins’ fibroblasts to evaluate and dissect the genetic and non-genetic contributions. Utilizing fluorescence-activated cell sorting, we obtained a homogenous population of ‘footprint-free’ iPS cell-derived midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons. The mDA neurons from both twins had ~ 50% GBA enzymatic activity, ~ 3-fold elevated α-synuclein protein levels, and a reduced capacity to synthesize and release dopamine. Interestingly, the affected twin’s neurons showed an even lower dopamine level, increased monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) expression, and impaired intrinsic network activity. Overexpression of wild-type GBA and treatment of MAO-B inhibitors normalized α-synuclein and dopamine levels, suggesting a combination therapy for the affected twin. PMID:25456120

  5. 3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine (Ecstasy) Promotes the Survival of Fetal Dopamine Neurons in Culture

    PubMed Central

    Lipton, Jack W.; Tolod, Emeline G.; Thompson, Valerie B.; Pei, Lin; Paumier, Katrina L.; Terpstra, Brian T.; Lynch, Kaari A.; Collier, Timothy J.; Sortwell, Caryl E.

    2008-01-01

    Summary The current study examined whether modest concentrations of MDMA could increase the survival and/or neurite outgrowth of fetal midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons in vitro since increased DA neurite outgrowth has been previously observed in vivo from prenatal exposure. MDMA concentrations in fetal brain were quantified to determine relevant in vivo concentrations to employ in vitro. A dose-response study in vitro demonstrated that MDMA, at concentrations observed in vivo, resulted in increased, DA-specific, neuron survival. Higher doses resulted in nonspecific neurotoxicity. MDMA application immediately after culture establishment resulted in greater survival than delayed application, however both were superior to control. MDMA significantly increased the expression of the slc6a3 gene (dopamine transporter; DAT) in culture. Co-application of the DAT reuptake inhibitor methylphenidate (MPH) with MDMA attenuated this effect. Progressive reductions in MPH concentrations restored the MDMA-induced survival effect. This suggests that MDMA’s action at DAT mediates the survival effect. Neurite density per neuron was unaffected by MDMA in vitro suggesting that MDMA promotes DA neuron survival but not neurite outgrowth in culture. Finally, animals prenatally exposed to MDMA and examined on postnatal day 35 showed an increase in tyrosine hydroxylase-positive (TH+) neurons in the substantia nigra but not in the ventral tegmental area. These data suggest that during development, MDMA can increase the survival of DA neurons through its action at its transporter. Understanding how MDMA increases DA neuron survival may provide insight into normal DA neuron loss during development. PMID:18655796

  6. Impact of Dendritic Spine Preservation in Medium Spiny Neurons on Dopamine Graft Efficacy and the Expression of Dyskinesias in Parkinsonian Rats

    PubMed Central

    Soderstrom, Katherine E.; O’Malley, Jennifer A.; Levine, Nathan D.; Sortwell, Caryl E.; Collier, Timothy J.; Steece-Collier, Kathy

    2010-01-01

    Dopamine deficiency associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD) results in numerous changes in striatal transmitter function and neuron morphology. Specifically, there is marked atrophy of dendrites and dendritic spines on striatal medium spiny neurons (MSN), primary targets of inputs from nigral dopamine and cortical glutamate neurons, in advanced PD and rodent models of severe dopamine depletion. Dendritic spine loss occurs via dysregulation of intraspine Cav1.3 L-type Ca2+ channels and can be prevented, in animal models, by administration of the calcium channel antagonist, nimodipine. The impact of MSN dendritic spine loss in the parkinsonian striatum on dopamine neuron graft therapy remains unexamined. Using unilaterally parkinsonian Sprague Dawley rats, we tested the hypothesis that MSN dendritic spine preservation through administration of nimodipine would result in improved therapeutic benefit and diminished graft-induced behavioral abnormalities in rats grafted with embryonic ventral midbrain cells. Analysis of rotational asymmetry and spontaneous forelimb use in the cylinder task found no significant effect of dendritic spine preservation in grafted rats. However, analyses of vibrissae-induced forelimb use, levodopa-induced dyskinesias, and graft-induced dyskinesias showed significant improvement in rats with dopamine grafts associated with preserved striatal dendritic spine density. Nimodipine treatment in this model did not impact dopamine graft survival but allowed for increased graft reinnervation of striatum. Taken together, these results demonstrate that even with grafting suboptimal numbers of cells, maintaining normal spine density on target MSNs results in overall superior behavioral efficacy of dopamine grafts. PMID:20105237

  7. CREB activity in dopamine D1 receptor expressing neurons regulates cocaine-induced behavioral effects.

    PubMed

    Bilbao, Ainhoa; Rieker, Claus; Cannella, Nazzareno; Parlato, Rosanna; Golda, Slawomir; Piechota, Marcin; Korostynski, Michal; Engblom, David; Przewlocki, Ryszard; Schütz, Günther; Spanagel, Rainer; Parkitna, Jan R

    2014-01-01

    It is suggested that striatal cAMP responsive element binding protein (CREB) regulates sensitivity to psychostimulants. To test the cell-specificity of this hypothesis we examined the effects of a dominant-negative CREB protein variant expressed in dopamine receptor D1 (D1R) neurons on cocaine-induced behaviors. A transgenic mouse strain was generated by pronuclear injection of a BAC-derived transgene harboring the A-CREB sequence under the control of the D1R gene promoter. Compared to wild-type, drug-naïve mutants showed moderate alterations in gene expression, especially a reduction in basal levels of activity-regulated transcripts such as Arc and Egr2. The behavioral responses to cocaine were elevated in mutant mice. Locomotor activity after acute treatment, psychomotor sensitization after intermittent drug injections and the conditioned locomotion after saline treatment were increased compared to wild-type littermates. Transgenic mice had significantly higher cocaine conditioned place preference, displayed normal extinction of the conditioned preference, but showed an augmented cocaine-seeking response following priming-induced reinstatement. This enhanced cocaine-seeking response was associated with increased levels of activity-regulated transcripts and prodynorphin. The primary reinforcing effects of cocaine were not altered in the mutant mice as they did not differ from wild-type in cocaine self-administration under a fixed ratio schedule at the training dose. Collectively, our data indicate that expression of a dominant-negative CREB variant exclusively in neurons expressing D1R is sufficient to recapitulate the previously reported behavioral phenotypes associated with virally expressed dominant-negative CREB. PMID:24966820

  8. Dopamine as a potent inducer of cellular glutathione and NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 in PC12 neuronal cells: a potential adaptive mechanism for dopaminergic neuroprotection.

    PubMed

    Jia, Zhenquan; Zhu, Hong; Misra, Bhaba R; Li, Yunbo; Misra, Hara P

    2008-11-01

    Dopamine auto-oxidation and the consequent formation of reactive oxygen species and electrophilic quinone molecules have been implicated in dopaminergic neuronal cell death in Parkinson's disease. We reported here that in PC12 dopaminergic neuronal cells dopamine at noncytotoxic concentrations (50-150 muM) potently induced cellular glutathione (GSH) and the phase 2 enzyme NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), two critical cellular defenses in detoxification of ROS and electrophilic quinone molecules. Incubation of PC12 cells with dopamine also led to a marked increase in the mRNA levels for gamma-glutamylcysteine ligase catalytic subunit (GCLC) and NQO1. In addition, treatment of PC12 cells with dopamine resulted in a significant elevation of GSH content in the mitochondrial compartment. To determine whether treatment with dopamine at noncytotoxic concentrations, which upregulated the cellular defenses could protect the neuronal cells against subsequent lethal oxidative and electrophilic injury, PC12 cells were pretreated with dopamine (150 muM) for 24 h and then exposed to various cytotoxic concentrations of dopamine or 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). We found that pretreatment of PC12 cells with dopamine at a noncytotoxic concentration led to a remarkable protection against cytotoxicity caused by dopamine or 6-OHDA at lethal concentrations, as detected by 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium reduction assay. In view of the critical roles of GSH and NQO1 in protecting against dopaminergic neuron degeneration, the above findings implicate that upregulation of both GSH and NQO1 by dopamine at noncytotoxic concentrations may serve as an important adaptive mechanism for dopaminergic neuroprotection. PMID:18368484

  9. Impact of Levodopa Priming on Dopamine Neuron Transplant Efficacy and Induction of Abnormal Involuntary Movements in Parkinsonian Rats

    PubMed Central

    Steece-Collier, Kathy; Soderstrom, Katherine; Collier, Timothy; Sortwell, Caryl E.; Lad, Eleonora Maries

    2010-01-01

    Clinical trials of neural grafting for Parkinson's disease (PD) have produced variable, but overall, disappointing results. One particular disappointment has been the development of aberrant motor complications following dopamine (DA) neuron grafting. Despite a lack of consistent benefit, the utility of dopamine neuron replacement remains supported by clinical and basic data. In a continued effort to elucidate factors that might improve this therapy, we used a parkinsonian rat model to examine whether pre-graft chronic levodopa impacted graft efficacy and/or graft-induced dyskinesia (GID) induction. Indeed, all grafted PD patients to date have had a pre-graft history of long-term levodopa. It is well established that long-term levodopa results in a plethora of long-lasting neurochemical alterations, and genomic changes indicative of altered structural and synaptic plasticity. Thus, therapeutic dopamine terminal replacement in a striatal environment complicated by such changes could be expected to lead to abnormal or inappropriate connections between graft and host brain, and contribute to suboptimal efficacy and/or post-graft GID behaviors. To investigate the impact of pre-graft levodopa, one group of parkinsonian rats received levodopa for 4 weeks prior to grafting. A second levodopa naïve group was grafted and grafts allowed to mature for nine weeks prior to introducing chronic levodopa. We report here that in parkinsonian rats, pre-exposure to chronic levodopa significantly reduces behavioral and neurochemical efficacy of embryonic dopamine grafts. Further, dopamine terminal replacement prior to introduction of chronic levodopa is highly effective at preventing development of levodopa-induced dyskinesias, and GID-like behaviors occur regardless of pre-graft levodopa status. PMID:19399877

  10. Cocaine disinhibits dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area via use-dependent blockade of GABA neuron voltage-sensitive sodium channels

    PubMed Central

    Steffensen, Scott C.; Taylor, Seth R.; Horton, Malia L.; Barber, Elise N.; Lyle, Laura T.; Stobbs, Sarah H.; Allison, David W.

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of cocaine on γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Utilizing single-unit recordings in vivo, microelectrophoretic administration of DA enhanced the firing rate of VTA GABA neurons via D2/D3 DA receptor activation. Lower doses of intravenous cocaine (0.25–0.5 mg/kg), or the DA transporter (DAT) blocker methamphetamine, enhanced VTA GABA neuron firing rate via D2/D3 receptor activation. Higher doses of cocaine (1.0–2.0 mg/kg) inhibited their firing rate, which was not sensitive to the D2/D3 antagonist eticlopride. The voltage-sensitive sodium channel (VSSC) blocker lidocaine inhibited the firing rate of VTA GABA neurons at all doses tested (0.25–2.0 mg/kg). Cocaine or lidocaine reduced VTA GABA neuron spike discharges induced by stimulation of the internal capsule (ICPSDs) at dose levels 0.25–2 mg/kg (IC50 1.2 mg/kg). There was no effect of DA or methamphetamine on ICPSDs, or of DA antagonists on cocaine inhibition of ICPSDs. In VTA GABA neurons in vitro, cocaine reduced (IC50 13 μm) current-evoked spikes and TTX-sensitive sodium currents in a use-dependent manner. In VTA DA neurons, cocaine reduced IPSCs (IC50 13 μm), increased IPSC paired-pulse facilitation and decreased spontaneous IPSC frequency, without affecting miniature IPSC frequency or amplitude. These findings suggest that cocaine acts on GABA neurons to reduce activity-dependent GABA release on DA neurons in the VTA, and that cocaine's use-dependent blockade of VTA GABA neuron VSSCs may synergize with its DAT inhibiting properties to enhance mesolimbic DA transmission implicated in cocaine reinforcement. PMID:19046384

  11. AAV2-mediated gene transfer of GDNF to the striatum of MPTP monkeys enhances the survival and outgrowth of co-implanted fetal dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Elsworth, JD; Redmond, DE; Leranth, C; Bjugstad, KB; Sladek, JR; Collier, TJ; Foti, SB; Samulski, RJ; Vives, KP; Roth, RH

    2009-01-01

    Neural transplantation offers the potential of treating Parkinson’s disease by grafting fetal dopamine neurons to depleted regions of the brain. However, clinical studies of neural grafting in Parkinson’s disease have produced only modest improvements. One of the main reasons for this is the low survival rate of transplanted neurons. The inadequate supply of critical neurotrophic factors in the adult brain is likely to be a major cause of early cell death and restricted outgrowth of fetal grafts placed into the mature striatum. Glial derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is a potent neurotrophic factor that is crucial to the survival, outgrowth and maintenance of dopamine neurons, and so is a candidate for protecting grafted fetal dopamine neurons in the adult brain. We found that implantation of adeno-associated virus type 2 encoding GDNF (AAV2-GDNF) in the normal monkey caudate nucleus induced over-expression of GDNF that persisted for at least 6 months after injection. In a 6-month within-animal controlled study, AAV2-GDNF enhanced the survival of fetal dopamine neurons by 4-fold, and increased the outgrowth of grafted fetal dopamine neurons by almost 3-fold in the caudate nucleus of MPTP-treated monkeys, compared with control grafts in the other caudate nucleus. Thus, the addition of GDNF gene therapy to neural transplantation may be a useful strategy to improve treatment for Parkinson’s disease. PMID:18346734

  12. Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine D2-Receptor Expressing Neurons Control Behavioral Flexibility in a Place Discrimination Task in the IntelliCage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Macpherson, Tom; Morita, Makiko; Wang, Yanyan; Sasaoka, Toshikuni; Sawa, Akira; Hikida, Takatoshi

    2016-01-01

    Considerable evidence has demonstrated a critical role for the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in the acquisition and flexibility of behavioral strategies. These processes are guided by the activity of two discrete neuron types, dopamine D1- or D2-receptor expressing medium spiny neurons (D1-/D2-MSNs). Here we used the IntelliCage, an automated…

  13. Neuronal calcium sensor-1 deletion in the mouse decreases motivation and dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Ng, Enoch; Varaschin, Rafael K; Su, Ping; Browne, Caleb J; Hermainski, Joanna; Le Foll, Bernard; Pongs, Olaf; Liu, Fang; Trudeau, Louis-Eric; Roder, John C; Wong, Albert H C

    2016-03-15

    Calcium sensors detect intracellular calcium changes and interact with downstream targets to regulate many functions. Neuronal Calcium Sensor-1 (NCS-1) or Frequenin is widely expressed in the nervous system, and involved in neurotransmission, synaptic plasticity and learning. NCS-1 interacts with and regulates dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) internalization and is implicated in disorders like schizophrenia and substance abuse. However, the role of NCS-1 in behaviors dependent on dopamine signaling in the striatum, where D2R is most highly expressed, is unknown. We show that Ncs-1 deletion in the mouse decreases willingness to work for food. Moreover, Ncs-1 knockout mice have significantly lower activity-dependent dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens core in acute slice recordings. In contrast, food preference, responding for conditioned reinforcement, ability to represent changes in reward value, and locomotor response to amphetamine are not impaired. These studies identify novel roles for NCS-1 in regulating activity-dependent striatal dopamine release and aspects of motivated behavior. PMID:26738968

  14. Selective extracellular stimulation of individual neurons in ganglia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Hui; Chestek, Cynthia A.; Shaw, Kendrick M.; Chiel, Hillel J.

    2008-09-01

    Selective control of individual neurons could clarify neural functions and aid disease treatments. To target specific neurons, it may be useful to focus on ganglionic neuron clusters, which are found in the peripheral nervous system in vertebrates. Because neuron cell bodies are found primarily near the surface of invertebrate ganglia, and often found near the surface of vertebrate ganglia, we developed a technique for controlling individual neurons extracellularly using the buccal ganglia of the marine mollusc Aplysia californica as a model system. We experimentally demonstrated that anodic currents can selectively activate an individual neuron and cathodic currents can selectively inhibit an individual neuron using this technique. To define spatial specificity, we studied the minimum currents required for stimulation, and to define temporal specificity, we controlled firing frequencies up to 45 Hz. To understand the mechanisms of spatial and temporal specificity, we created models using the NEURON software package. To broadly predict the spatial specificity of arbitrary neurons in any ganglion sharing similar geometry, we created a steady-state analytical model. A NEURON model based on cat spinal motor neurons showed responses to extracellular stimulation qualitatively similar to those of the Aplysia NEURON model, suggesting that this technique could be widely applicable to vertebrate and human peripheral ganglia having similar geometry.

  15. RNA aptamer-based electrochemical biosensor for selective and label-free analysis of dopamine.

    PubMed

    Farjami, Elaheh; Campos, Rui; Nielsen, Jesper S; Gothelf, Kurt V; Kjems, Jørgen; Ferapontova, Elena E

    2013-01-01

    The inherent redox activity of dopamine enables its direct electrochemical in vivo analysis ( Venton , B. J.; Wightman, M. R. Anal. Chem. 2003, 75, 414A). However, dopamine analysis is complicated by the interference from other electrochemically active endogenous compounds present in the brain, including dopamine precursors and metabolites and other neurotransmitters (NT). Here we report an electrochemical RNA aptamer-based biosensor for analysis of dopamine in the presence of other NT. The biosensor exploits a specific binding of dopamine by the RNA aptamer, immobilized at a cysteamine-modified Au electrode, and further electrochemical oxidation of dopamine. Specific recognition of dopamine by the aptamer allowed a selective amperometric detection of dopamine within the physiologically relevant 100 nM to 5 μM range in the presence of competitive concentrations of catechol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, 3,4-dihydroxy-phenylalanine (L-DOPA), 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), methyldopamine, and tyramine, which gave negligible signals under conditions of experiments (electroanalysis at 0.185 V vs Ag/AgCl). The interference from ascorbic and uric acids was eliminated by application of a Nafion-coated membrane. The aptasensor response time was <1 s, and the sensitivity of analysis was 62 nA μM(-1) cm(-2). The proposed design of the aptasensor, based on electrostatic interactions between the positively charged cysteamine-modified electrode and the negatively charged aptamer, may be used as a general strategy not to restrict the conformational freedom and binding properties of surface-bound aptamers and, thus, be applicable for the development of other aptasensors. PMID:23210972

  16. IGF-1 protects dopamine neurons against oxidative stress: association with changes in phosphokinases.

    PubMed

    Ayadi, Amina El; Zigmond, Michael J; Smith, Amanda D

    2016-07-01

    Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is an endogenous peptide transported across the blood brain barrier that is protective in several brain injury models, including an acute animal model of Parkinson's disease (PD). Motor deficits in PD are due largely to the progressive loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. Thus, we examined the neuroprotective potential of IGF-1 in a progressive model of dopamine deficiency in which 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) is infused into the striatum. Rats received intrastriatal IGF-1 (5 or 50 µg) 6 h prior to infusion of 4 µg 6-OHDA into the same site and were euthanized 1 or 4 weeks later. Both concentrations of IGF-1 protected tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactive terminals in striatum at 4 weeks but not at 1 week, indicating that IGF-induced restoration of the dopaminergic phenotype occurred over several weeks. TH-immunoreactive cell loss was only attenuated with 50 µg IGF-1. We then examined the effect of striatal IGF-1 on the Ras/ERK1/2 and PI3K/Akt pathways to ascertain whether their activation correlated with IGF-1-induced protection. Striatal and nigral levels of phospho-ERK1/2 were maximal 6 h after IGF-1 infusion and, with the exception of an increase in nigral pERK2 at 48 h, returned to basal levels by 7 days. Phospho-Akt (Ser473) was elevated 6-24 h post-IGF-1 infusion in both striatum and substantia nigra concomitant with inhibition of pro-death GSK-3β, a downstream target of Akt. These results suggest that IGF-1 can protect the nigrostriatal pathway in a progressive PD model and that this protection is preceded by activation of key pro-survival signaling cascades. PMID:26894890

  17. Dopamine Receptor Blockade Modulates the Rewarding and Aversive Properties of Nicotine via Dissociable Neuronal Activity Patterns in the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Ninglei; Laviolette, Steven R

    2014-01-01

    The mesolimbic pathway comprising the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and projection terminals in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) has been identified as a critical neural system involved in processing both the rewarding and aversive behavioral effects of nicotine. Transmission through dopamine (DA) receptors functionally modulates these effects directly within the NAc. Nevertheless, the neuronal mechanisms within the NAc responsible for these bivalent behavioral effects are presently not known. Using an unbiased conditioned place preference procedure combined with in vivo neuronal recordings, we examined the effects of nicotine reward and aversion conditioning on intra-NAc neuronal sub-population activity patterns. We report that intra-VTA doses of nicotine that differentially produce rewarding or aversive behavioral effects produce opposite effects on sub-populations of fast-spiking interneurons (FSIs) or medium spiny neurons (MSNs) within the shell region of the NAc (NAshell). Thus, while the rewarding effects of intra-VTA nicotine were associated with inhibition of FSI and activation of MSNs, the aversive effects of nicotine produced the opposite pattern of NAshell neuronal population activity. Blockade of DA transmission with a broad-spectrum DA receptor antagonist, α-flupenthixol, strongly inhibited the spontaneous activity of NAshell FSIs, and reversed the conditioning properties of intra-VTA nicotine, switching nicotine-conditioned responses from aversive to rewarding. Remarkably, DA receptor blockade switched intra-NAshell neuronal population activity from an aversion to a reward pattern, concomitant with the observed switch in behavioral conditioning effects. PMID:24896614

  18. Vitamin C facilitates dopamine neuron differentiation in fetal midbrain through TET1- and JMJD3-dependent epigenetic control manner.

    PubMed

    He, Xi-Biao; Kim, Mirang; Kim, Seon-Young; Yi, Sang-Hoon; Rhee, Yong-Hee; Kim, Taeho; Lee, Eun-Hye; Park, Chang-Hwan; Dixit, Shilpy; Harrison, Fiona E; Lee, Sang-Hun

    2015-04-01

    Intracellular Vitamin C (VC) is maintained at high levels in the developing brain by the activity of sodium-dependent VC transporter 2 (Svct2), suggesting specific VC functions in brain development. A role of VC as a cofactor for Fe(II)-2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases has recently been suggested. We show that VC supplementation in neural stem cell cultures derived from embryonic midbrains greatly enhanced differentiation toward midbrain-type dopamine (mDA) neurons, the neuronal subtype associated with Parkinson's disease. VC induced gain of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) and loss of H3K27m3 in DA phenotype gene promoters, which are catalyzed by Tet1 and Jmjd3, respectively. Consequently, VC enhanced DA phenotype gene transcriptions in the progenitors by Nurr1, a transcription factor critical for mDA neuron development, to be more accessible to the gene promoters. Further mechanism studies including Tet1 and Jmjd3 knockdown/inhibition experiments revealed that both the 5hmC and H3K27m3 changes, specifically in the progenitor cells, are indispensible for the VC-mediated mDA neuron differentiation. We finally show that in Svct2 knockout mouse embryos, mDA neuron formation in the developing midbrain decreased along with the 5hmC/H3k27m3 changes. These findings together indicate an epigenetic role of VC in midbrain DA neuron development. PMID:25535150

  19. Dopamine-induced oscillations of the pyloric pacemaker neuron rely on release of calcium from intracellular stores.

    PubMed

    Kadiri, Lolahon R; Kwan, Alex C; Webb, Watt W; Harris-Warrick, Ronald M

    2011-09-01

    Endogenously bursting neurons play central roles in many aspects of nervous system function, ranging from motor control to perception. The properties and bursting patterns generated by these neurons are subject to neuromodulation, which can alter cycle frequency and amplitude by modifying the properties of the neuron's ionic currents. In the stomatogastric ganglion (STG) of the spiny lobster, Panulirus interruptus, the anterior burster (AB) neuron is a conditional oscillator in the presence of dopamine (DA) and other neuromodulators and serves as the pacemaker to drive rhythmic output from the pyloric network. We analyzed the mechanisms by which DA evokes bursting in the AB neuron. Previous work showed that DA-evoked bursting is critically dependent on external calcium (Harris-Warrick RM, Flamm RE. J Neurosci 7: 2113-2128, 1987). Using two-photon microscopy and calcium imaging, we show that DA evokes the release of calcium from intracellular stores well before the emergence of voltage oscillations. When this release from intracellular stores is blocked by antagonists of ryanodine or inositol trisphosphate (IP(3)) receptor channels, DA fails to evoke AB bursting. We further demonstrate that DA enhances the calcium-activated inward current, I(CAN), despite the fact that it significantly reduces voltage-activated calcium currents. This suggests that DA-induced release of calcium from intracellular stores activates I(CAN), which provides a depolarizing ramp current that underlies endogenous bursting in the AB neuron. PMID:21676929

  20. Selective neuronal toxicity of cocaine in embryonic mouse brain cocultures.

    PubMed Central

    Nassogne, M C; Evrard, P; Courtoy, P J

    1995-01-01

    Cocaine exposure in utero causes severe alterations in the development of the central nervous system. To study the basis of these teratogenic effects in vitro, we have used cocultures of neurons and glial cells from mouse embryonic brain. Cocaine selectively affected embryonic neuronal cells, causing first a dramatic reduction of both number and length of neurites and then extensive neuronal death. Scanning electron microscopy demonstrated a shift from a multipolar neuronal pattern towards bi- and unipolarity prior to the rounding up and eventual disappearance of the neurons. Selective toxicity of cocaine on neurons was paralleled by a concomitant decrease of the culture content in microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2), a neuronal marker measured by solid-phase immunoassay. These effects on neurons were reversible when cocaine was removed from the culture medium. In contrast, cocaine did not affect astroglial cells and their glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) content. Thus, in embryonic neuronal-glial cell cocultures, cocaine induces major neurite perturbations followed by neuronal death without affecting the survival of glial cells. Provided similar neuronal alterations are produced in the developing human brain, they could account for the qualitative or quantitative defects in neuronal pathways that cause a major handicap in brain function following in utero exposure to cocaine. Images Fig. 2 Fig. 5 PMID:7479930

  1. Involvement of transient receptor potential-like channels in responses to mGluR-I activation in midbrain dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Tozzi, Alessandro; Bengtson, C Peter; Longone, Patrizia; Carignani, Corrado; Fusco, Francesca R; Bernardi, Giorgio; Mercuri, Nicola B

    2003-10-01

    We investigated the involvement of store-operated channels (SOCs) and transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in the response to activation of the group I metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 1 (mGluR1) with the agonist (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG, puff application) in dopamine neurons in rat brain slices. The mGluR1-induced conductance reversed polarity close to 0 mV and at more positive potentials when extracellular potassium concentrations were increased, indicating the involvement of a cationic channel. DHPG currents but not intracellular calcium responses were reduced by low extracellular sodium concentrations but were not affected by sodium channel blockers, tetrodotoxin and saxitoxin or by inhibition of the h-current with cesium. Abolition of calcium responses with intracellular BAPTA (1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid; 10 mm) did not affect current responses, indicating they were not calcium activated. Extracellular application of non-selective SOCs and TRP channel blockers 2-aminoethoxydiphenylborane (2-APB), SKF96365, ruthenium red and flufenamic acid (but not gadolinium) reduced DHPG current and calcium responses. Intracellular application of ruthenium red and 2-APB did not affect DHPG currents, indicating that IP3 and ryanodine receptors did not mediate their actions. Single-cell PCR revealed the presence of TRPC1 and 5 mRNA in most dopamine neurons and subtypes 3, 4 and 6 in some. Store depletion evoked calcium entry indicative of SOCs, providing the first functional observation of such channels in native central neurons. Store depletion with either cyclopiazonic acid or ryanodine abolished calcium but not current responses to DHPG. The electrophysiological and pharmacological properties of the mGluR1-induced inward current are consistent with the involvement of TRP channels whereas calcium responses are dependent on the function of SOCs in voltage clamp recordings. PMID:14622174

  2. Reducing Ventral Tegmental Dopamine D2 Receptor Expression Selectively Boosts Incentive Motivation

    PubMed Central

    de Jong, Johannes W; Roelofs, Theresia J M; Mol, Frédérique M U; Hillen, Anne E J; Meijboom, Katharina E; Luijendijk, Mieneke C M; van der Eerden, Harrie A M; Garner, Keith M; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J; Adan, Roger A H

    2015-01-01

    Altered mesolimbic dopamine signaling has been widely implicated in addictive behavior. For the most part, this work has focused on dopamine within the striatum, but there is emerging evidence for a role of the auto-inhibitory, somatodendritic dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in addiction. Thus, decreased midbrain D2R expression has been implicated in addiction in humans. Moreover, knockout of the gene encoding the D2R receptor (Drd2) in dopamine neurons has been shown to enhance the locomotor response to cocaine in mice. Therefore, we here tested the hypothesis that decreasing D2R expression in the VTA of adult rats, using shRNA knockdown, promotes addiction-like behavior in rats responding for cocaine or palatable food. Rats with decreased VTA D2R expression showed markedly increased motivation for both sucrose and cocaine under a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement, but the acquisition or maintenance of cocaine self-administration were not affected. They also displayed enhanced cocaine-induced locomotor activity, but no change in basal locomotion. This robust increase in incentive motivation was behaviorally specific, as we did not observe any differences in fixed ratio responding, extinction responding, reinstatement or conditioned suppression of cocaine, and sucrose seeking. We conclude that VTA D2R knockdown results in increased incentive motivation, but does not directly promote other aspects of addiction-like behavior. PMID:25735756

  3. Opposing effects of APP/PS1 and TrkB.T1 genotypes on midbrain dopamine neurons and stimulated dopamine release in vivo.

    PubMed

    Kärkkäinen, E; Yavich, L; Miettinen, P O; Tanila, H

    2015-10-01

    Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling disturbances in Alzheimer׳s disease (AD) have been demonstrated. BDNF levels fall in AD, but the ratio between truncated and full-length BDNF receptors TrkB.T1 and TrkB.TK, respectively, increases in brains of AD patients and APPswe/PS1dE9 (APP/PS1) AD model mice. Dopaminergic (DAergic) system disturbances in AD and detrimental effects of BDNF signaling deficits on DAergic system functions have also been indicated. Against this, we investigated changes in nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) system in mice carrying APP/PS1 and/or TrkB.T1 transgenes, the latter line modeling the TrkB.T1/TK ratio change in AD. Employing in vivo voltammetry, we found normal short-term DA release in caudate-putamen of mice carrying APP/PS1 or TrkB.T1 transgenes but impaired capacity to recruit more DA upon prolonged stimulation. However, mice carrying both transgenes did not differ from wild-type controls. Immunohistochemistry revealed normal density of tyrosine hydroxylase positive axon terminals in caudate-putamen in all genotypes and intact presynaptic machinery for DA release and reuptake, as shown by unchanged levels of SNAP-25, α-synuclein and DA transporter. However, we observed increased DAergic neurons in substantia nigra of TrkB.T1 mice resulting in decreased tyrosine hydroxylase per neuron in TrkB.T1 mice. The finding of unchanged nigral DAergic neurons in APP/PS1 mice largely confirms earlier reports, but the unexpected increase in midbrain DA neurons in TrkB.T1 mice is a novel finding. We suggest that both APP/PS1 and TrkB.T1 genotypes disrupt DAergic signaling, but via separate mechanisms. PMID:26168899

  4. Specific Role of VTA Dopamine Neuronal Firing Rates and Morphology in the Reversal of Anxiety-Related, but not Depression-Related Behavior in the ClockΔ19 Mouse Model of Mania

    PubMed Central

    Coque, Laurent; Mukherjee, Shibani; Cao, Jun-Li; Spencer, Sade; Marvin, Marian; Falcon, Edgardo; Sidor, Michelle M; Birnbaum, Shari G; Graham, Ami; Neve, Rachael L; Gordon, Elizabeth; Ozburn, Angela R; Goldberg, Matthew S; Han, Ming-Hu; Cooper, Donald C; McClung, Colleen A

    2011-01-01

    Lithium has been used extensively for mood stabilization, and it is particularly efficacious in the treatment of bipolar mania. Like other drugs used in the treatment of psychiatric diseases, it has little effect on the mood of healthy individuals. Our previous studies found that mice with a mutation in the Clock gene (ClockΔ19) have a complete behavioral profile that is very similar to human mania, which can be reversed with chronic lithium treatment. However, the cellular and physiological effects that underlie its targeted therapeutic efficacy remain unknown. Here we find that ClockΔ19 mice have an increase in dopaminergic activity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and that lithium treatment selectively reduces the firing rate in the mutant mice with no effect on activity in wild-type mice. Furthermore, lithium treatment reduces nucleus accumbens (NAc) dopamine levels selectively in the mutant mice. The increased dopaminergic activity in the Clock mutants is associated with cell volume changes in dopamine neurons, which are also rescued by lithium treatment. To determine the role of dopaminergic activity and morphological changes in dopamine neurons in manic-like behavior, we manipulated the excitability of these neurons by overexpressing an inwardly rectifying potassium channel subunit (Kir2.1) selectively in the VTA of ClockΔ19 mice and wild-type mice using viral-mediated gene transfer. Introduction of this channel mimics the effects of lithium treatment on the firing rate of dopamine neurons in ClockΔ19 mice and leads to a similar change in dopamine cell volume. Furthermore, reduction of dopaminergic firing rates in ClockΔ19 animals results in a normalization of locomotor- and anxiety-related behavior that is very similar to lithium treatment; however, it is not sufficient to reverse depression-related behavior. These results suggest that abnormalities in dopamine cell firing and associated morphology underlie alterations in anxiety-related behavior

  5. Estrogen protects against dopamine neuron toxicity in primary mesencephalic cultures through an indirect P13K/Akt mediated astrocyte pathway.

    PubMed

    Bains, Mona; Roberts, James L

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes regulate neuronal homeostasis and have been implicated in affecting the viability and functioning of surrounding neurons under stressed and injured conditions. Previous data from our lab suggests indirect actions of estrogen through ERα in neighboring astroglia to protect dopamine neurons against 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP(+)) toxicity in mouse mesencephalic cultures. We further evaluate estrogen signaling in astrocytes and the mechanism of estrogen's indirect neuroprotective effects on dopamine neurons. Primary mesencephalic cultures pre-treated with 17β-estradiol and the membrane impermeable estrogen, E2-BSA, were both neuroprotective against MPP(+) -induced dopamine neuron toxicity, suggesting membrane-initiated neuroprotection. ERα was found in the plasma membrane of astrocyte cultures and colocalized with the lipid raft marker, flotillin-1. A 17β-estradiol time course revealed a significant increase in Akt, which was inhibited by the PI3 kinase inhibitor, LY294004. Estrogen conditioned media collected from pure astrocyte cultures rescued glial deficient mesencephalic cultures from MPP(+). This indirect estrogen-mediated neuroprotective effect in mesencephalic cultures was significantly reduced when PI3 kinase signaling in astrocytes was blocked prior to collecting estrogen-conditioned media using the irreversible PI3 kinase inhibitor, Wortmannin. Estrogen signaling via astrocytes is rapidly initiated at the membrane level and requires PI3 kinase signaling in order to protect primary mesencephalic dopamine neurons from MPP(+) neurotoxicity. PMID:26520464

  6. Lesions of dopamine neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex: effects on self-administration of amphetamine and dopamine synthesis in the brain of the rat.

    PubMed

    Leccese, A P; Lyness, W H

    1987-09-01

    It has been suggested that dopamine (DA)-containing neurons within the medial prefrontal cortex subserve a role in the positive reinforcing effects of psychomotor stimulants. Injections of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) into this region, which destroyed a major portion of the DA innervation, but maintained the integrity of noradrenergic and serotonergic neurons, failed to alter either the acquisition or maintenance of the intravenous self-administration of d-amphetamine in rats. Compared to vehicle-injected controls (sham lesions), the animals treated with 6-OHDA acquired the drug-abuse behaviour and maintained comparable, stable rates of self-injection. The lesions increased concentrations of dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA) in the nucleus accumbens septi but not in the striatum. The increased synthesis of DA in the nucleus accumbens septi [demonstrated by increased accumulation of dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA)] was abolished by the intravenous administration of d-amphetamine, in patterns mimicking those of animals trained in self-administration. PMID:3118232

  7. Adaptations in the mesoaccumbens dopamine system resulting from repeated administration of dopamine D1 and D2 receptor-selective agonists: relevance to cocaine sensitization.

    PubMed

    Henry, D J; Hu, X T; White, F J

    1998-11-01

    The mesoaccumbens dopamine (DA) system is intricately involved in sensitization to the locomotor stimulant effects of cocaine. Among the adaptations implicated in cocaine sensitization are transient subsensitivity of impulse-regulating DA D2 autoreceptors on ventral tegmental area (VTA) DA neurons leading to hyperactivity of the mesoaccumbens DA pathway, and persistently enhanced DA D1 receptor responses of nucleus accumbens (NAc) neurons. We have tested the hypothesis that both of these adaptations are necessary to produce cocaine sensitization. We injected rats twice daily for 2 weeks with the selective DA D1 class receptor agonist SKF 38393, the DA D2 class receptor agonist quinpirole, or both. We then used single-cell recording procedures to determine possible alterations in VTA DA autoreceptor sensitivity and NAc D1 receptor sensitivity at three withdrawal times: 1 day, 1 week and 1 month. We also tested whether these treatments produced cross-sensitization to cocaine at each withdrawal time. Repeated quinpirole treatment produced a reduction in VTA autoreceptor sensitivity and cross-sensitization to cocaine, but these effects lasted for less than 1 week. Repeated SKF 38393 treatment produced enhanced NAc D1 responses which lasted for 1 week and cross-sensitization to cocaine which was only evident after 1 week of withdrawal. Repeated treatment with the combination of the two agonists transiently down-regulated autoreceptor sensitivity, enhanced and prolonged D1 receptor supersensitivity (lasting 1 month), and produced enduring cross-sensitization to cocaine. These results suggest that neuroadaptations within both the VTA and NAc may be necessary for the induction of enduring cocaine sensitization. PMID:9860115

  8. Inhibitory Input from the Lateral Hypothalamus to the Ventral Tegmental Area Disinhibits Dopamine Neurons and Promotes Behavioral Activation.

    PubMed

    Nieh, Edward H; Vander Weele, Caitlin M; Matthews, Gillian A; Presbrey, Kara N; Wichmann, Romy; Leppla, Christopher A; Izadmehr, Ehsan M; Tye, Kay M

    2016-06-15

    Projections from the lateral hypothalamus (LH) to the ventral tegmental area (VTA), containing both GABAergic and glutamatergic components, encode conditioned responses and control compulsive reward-seeking behavior. GABAergic neurons in the LH have been shown to mediate appetitive and feeding-related behaviors. Here we show that the GABAergic component of the LH-VTA pathway supports positive reinforcement and place preference, while the glutamatergic component mediates place avoidance. In addition, our results indicate that photoactivation of these projections modulates other behaviors, such as social interaction and perseverant investigation of a novel object. We provide evidence that photostimulation of the GABAergic LH-VTA component, but not the glutamatergic component, increases dopamine (DA) release in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) via inhibition of local VTA GABAergic neurons. Our study clarifies how GABAergic LH inputs to the VTA can contribute to generalized behavioral activation across multiple contexts, consistent with a role in increasing motivational salience. VIDEO ABSTRACT. PMID:27238864

  9. The identification of a selective dopamine D2 partial agonist, D3 antagonist displaying high levels of brain exposure.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Ian P; Blunt, Richard J; Lorthioir, Olivier E; Blowers, Stephen M; Gribble, Andy; Payne, Andrew H; Stansfield, Ian G; Wood, Martyn; Woollard, Patrick M; Reavill, Charlie; Howes, Claire M; Micheli, Fabrizio; Di Fabio, Romano; Donati, Daniele; Terreni, Silvia; Hamprecht, Dieter; Arista, Luca; Worby, Angela; Watson, Steve P

    2010-03-15

    The identification of a highly selective D(2) partial agonist, D(3) antagonist tool molecule which demonstrates high levels of brain exposure and selectivity against an extensive range of dopamine, serotonin, adrenergic, histamine, and muscarinic receptors is described. PMID:20153647

  10. Novel neuroprotective mechanisms of pramipexole, an anti-Parkinson drug, against endogenous dopamine-mediated excitotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Izumi, Yasuhiko; Sawada, Hideyuki; Yamamoto, Noriyuki; Kume, Toshiaki; Katsuki, Hiroshi; Shimohama, Shun; Akaike, Akinori

    2007-02-28

    Parkinson disease is characterized by selective degeneration of mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons, and endogenous dopamine may play a pivotal role in the degenerative processes. Using primary cultured mesencephalic neurons, we found that glutamate, an excitotoxin, caused selective dopaminergic neuronal death depending on endogenous dopamine content. Pramipexole, a dopamine D2/D3 receptor agonist used clinically in the treatment of Parkinson disease, did not affect glutamate-induced calcium influx but blocked dopaminergic neuronal death induced by glutamate. Pramipexole reduced dopamine content but did not change the levels of total or phosphorylated tyrosine hydroxylase, a rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine synthesis. The neuroprotective effect of pramipexole was independent of dopamine receptor stimulation because it was not abrogated by domperidone, a dopamine D2-type receptor antagonist. Moreover, both active S(-)- and inactive R(+)-enantiomers of pramipexole as a dopamine D2-like receptor agonist equally suppressed dopaminergic neuronal death. These results suggest that pramipexole protects dopaminergic neurons from glutamate neurotoxicity by the reduction of intracellular dopamine content, independently of dopamine D2-like receptor activation. PMID:17161393