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Sample records for a9 dopamine neuron

  1. The CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR 141716A affects A9 dopamine neuronal activity in the rat.

    PubMed

    Gueudet, C; Santucci, V; Rinaldi-Carmona, M; Soubrié, P; Le Fur, G

    1995-07-10

    CB1 receptors and their putative natural ligand anandamide, have been tentatively involved in the control of midbrain extrapyramidal function. Electrophysiological activity of dopamine neurones was measured after acute and repeated administration of the CB1 receptor antagonist SR 141716A (0.3-3 mg kg-1) in rats. Acute SR 141716A increased A9, but not A10 cell population response without affecting either their spontaneous firing rate or apomorphine-induced rate inhibition and prevented amphetamine-induced inhibition of A9, but not of A10 cell firing. After repeated administration SR 141716A (1 or 5 mg kg-1) decreased population response of A9 cells, which was reversed by apomorphine. These results suggest that CB1 receptor blockade by SR 141716A interrupts a cannabinoid-like endogenous tone controlling extrapyramidal function.

  2. 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 Central

    Grealish, Shane; Jönsson, Marie E.; Li, Meng; Kirik, Deniz; Björklund, Anders

    2010-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-09

    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.

  4. Dopamine controls neurogenesis in the adult salamander midbrain in homeostasis and during regeneration of dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Berg, Daniel A; Kirkham, Matthew; Wang, Heng; Frisén, Jonas; Simon, András

    2011-04-08

    Appropriate termination of regenerative processes is critical for producing the correct number of cells in tissues. Here we provide evidence for an end-product inhibition of dopamine neuron regeneration that is mediated by dopamine. Ablation of midbrain dopamine neurons leads to complete regeneration in salamanders. Regeneration involves extensive neurogenesis and requires activation of quiescent ependymoglia cells, which express dopamine receptors. Pharmacological compensation for dopamine loss by L-dopa inhibits ependymoglia proliferation and regeneration in a dopamine receptor-signaling-dependent manner, specifically after ablation of dopamine neurons. Systemic administration of the dopamine receptor antagonist haloperidol alone causes ependymoglia proliferation and the appearance of excessive number of neurons. Our data show that stem cell quiescence is under dopamine control and provide a model for termination once normal homeostasis is restored. The findings establish a role for dopamine in the reversible suppression of neurogenesis in the midbrain and have implications for regenerative strategies in Parkinson's disease.

  5. Suppression of Dopamine Neurons Mediates Reward

    PubMed Central

    Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Abe, Ayako; Tanimoto, Hiromu

    2016-01-01

    Massive activation of dopamine neurons is critical for natural reward and drug abuse. In contrast, the significance of their spontaneous activity remains elusive. In Drosophila melanogaster, depolarization of the protocerebral anterior medial (PAM) cluster dopamine neurons en masse signals reward to the mushroom body (MB) and drives appetitive memory. Focusing on the functional heterogeneity of PAM cluster neurons, we identified that a single class of PAM neurons, PAM-γ3, mediates sugar reward by suppressing their own activity. PAM-γ3 is selectively required for appetitive olfactory learning, while activation of these neurons in turn induces aversive memory. Ongoing activity of PAM-γ3 gets suppressed upon sugar ingestion. Strikingly, transient inactivation of basal PAM-γ3 activity can substitute for reward and induces appetitive memory. Furthermore, we identified the satiety-signaling neuropeptide Allatostatin A (AstA) as a key mediator that conveys inhibitory input onto PAM-γ3. Our results suggest the significance of basal dopamine release in reward signaling and reveal a circuit mechanism for negative regulation. PMID:27997541

  6. 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

  7. Neuronal Source of Plasma Dopamine

    PubMed Central

    Goldstein, David S.; Holmes, Courtney

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND Determinants of plasma norepinephrine (NE) and epinephrine concentrations are well known; those of the third endogenous catecholamine, dopamine (DA), remain poorly understood. We tested in humans whether DA enters the plasma after corelease with NE during exocytosis from sympathetic noradrenergic nerves. METHODS We reviewed plasma catecholamine data from patients referred for autonomic testing and control subjects under the following experimental conditions: during supine rest and in response to orthostasis; intravenous yohimbine (YOH), isoproterenol (ISO), or glucagon (GLU), which augment exocytotic release of NE from sympathetic nerves; intravenous tri-methaphan (TRI) or pentolinium (PEN), which decrease exocytotic NE release; or intravenous tyramine (TYR), which releases NE by nonexocytotic means. We included groups of patients with pure autonomic failure (PAF), bilateral thoracic sympathectomies (SNS-x), or multiple system atrophy (MSA), since PAF and SNS-x are associated with noradrenergic denervation and MSA is not. RESULTS Orthostasis, YOH, ISO, and TYR increased and TRI/PEN decreased plasma DA concentrations. Individual values for changes in plasma DA concentrations correlated positively with changes in NE in response to orthostasis (r =0.72, P <0.0001), YOH (r = 0.75, P < 0.0001), ISO (r = 0.71, P < 0.0001), GLU (r = 0.47, P = 0.01), and TYR (r = 0.67, P < 0.0001). PAF and SNS-x patients had low plasma DA concentrations. We estimated that DA constitutes 2%– 4% of the catecholamine released by exocytosis from sympathetic nerves and that 50%–90% of plasma DA has a sympathoneural source. CONCLUSIONS Plasma DA is derived substantially from sympathetic noradrenergic nerves. PMID:18801936

  8. Transplantation site influences the phenotypic differentiation of dopamine neurons in ventral mesencephalic grafts in Parkinsonian rats.

    PubMed

    Fjodorova, Marija; Torres, Eduardo M; Dunnett, Stephen B

    2017-05-01

    Foetal midbrain progenitors have been shown to survive, give rise to different classes of dopamine neurons and integrate into the host brain alleviating Parkinsonian symptoms following transplantation in patients and animal models of the disease. Dopamine neuron subpopulations in the midbrain, namely A9 and A10, can be identified anatomically based on cell morphology and ascending axonal projections. G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium channel Girk2 and the calcium binding protein Calbindin are the two best available histochemical markers currently used to label (with some overlap) A9- and A10-like dopamine neuron subtypes, respectively, in tyrosine hydroxylase expressing neurons both in the midbrain and grafts. Both classes of dopamine neurons survive in grafts in the striatum and extend axonal projections to their normal dorsal and ventral striatal targets depending on phenotype. Nevertheless, grafts transplanted into the dorsal striatum, which is an A9 input nucleus, are enriched for dopamine neurons that express Girk2. It remains to be elucidated whether different transplantation sites favour the differential survival and/or development of concordant dopamine neuron subtypes within the grafts. Here we used rat foetal midbrain progenitors at two developmental stages corresponding to a peak in either A9 or A10 neurogenesis and examined their commitment to respective dopaminergic phenotypes by grafting cells into different forebrain regions that contain targets of either nigral A9 dopamine innervation (dorsal striatum), ventral tegmental area A10 dopamine innervation (nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex), or only sparse dopamine but rich noradrenaline innervation (hippocampus). We demonstrate that young (embryonic day, E12), but not older (E14), mesencephalic tissue and the transplant environment influence survival and functional integration of specific subtypes of dopamine neurons into the host brain. We also show that irrespective of donor age A9

  9. 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

  10. Methamphetamine Regulation of Firing Activity of Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Min; Sambo, Danielle

    2016-01-01

    Methamphetamine (METH) is a substrate for the dopamine transporter that increases extracellular dopamine levels by competing with dopamine uptake and increasing reverse transport of dopamine via the transporter. METH has also been shown to alter the excitability of dopamine neurons. The mechanism of METH regulation of the intrinsic firing behaviors of dopamine neurons is less understood. Here we identified an unexpected and unique property of METH on the regulation of firing activity of mouse dopamine neurons. METH produced a transient augmentation of spontaneous spike activity of midbrain dopamine neurons that was followed by a progressive reduction of spontaneous spike activity. Inspection of action potential morphology revealed that METH increased the half-width and produced larger coefficients of variation of the interspike interval, suggesting that METH exposure affected the activity of voltage-dependent potassium channels in these neurons. Since METH has been shown to affect Ca2+ homeostasis, the unexpected findings that METH broadened the action potential and decreased the amplitude of afterhyperpolarization led us to ask whether METH alters the activity of Ca2+-activated potassium (BK) channels. First, we identified BK channels in dopamine neurons by their voltage dependence and their response to a BK channel blocker or opener. While METH suppressed the amplitude of BK channel-mediated unitary currents, the BK channel opener NS1619 attenuated the effects of METH on action potential broadening, afterhyperpolarization repression, and spontaneous spike activity reduction. Live-cell total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, electrophysiology, and biochemical analysis suggest METH exposure decreased the activity of BK channels by decreasing BK-α subunit levels at the plasma membrane. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Methamphetamine (METH) competes with dopamine uptake, increases dopamine efflux via the dopamine transporter, and affects the excitability of

  11. Unraveling neuronal dopamine transporter mechanisms with rotating disk electrode voltammetry.

    PubMed

    Schenk, James O; Wright, Cortney; Bjorklund, Nicole

    2005-04-15

    Herein we describe how the rotating disk electrode voltammetric technique can be used to examine the mechanism(s) of the inward transport of dopamine by the neuronal transporter for dopamine (DAT). The usefulness of making measurements kinetically resolving dopamine transport, interpretations of changes in Km and Vmax, approaches to defining pre-steady-state binding of dopamine to DAT, interactions between competing inhibitors, chemical modification of functional groups within DAT, and a presentation of a hypothetical multi-state model of dopamine transport are presented and discussed.

  12. Hub and switches: endocannabinoid signalling in midbrain dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Melis, Miriam; Pistis, Marco

    2012-12-05

    The last decade has provided a wealth of experimental data on the role played by lipids belonging to the endocannabinoid family in several facets of physiopathology of dopamine neurons. We currently suggest that these molecules, being intimately connected with diverse metabolic and signalling pathways, might differently affect various functions of dopamine neurons through activation not only of surface receptors, but also of nuclear receptors. It is now emerging how dopamine neurons can regulate their constituent biomolecules to compensate for changes in either internal functions or external conditions. Consequently, dopamine neurons use these lipid molecules as metabolic and homeostatic signal detectors, which can dynamically impact cell function and fitness. Because dysfunctions of the dopamine system underlie diverse neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and drug addiction, the importance of better understanding the correlation between an unbalanced endocannabinoid signal and the dopamine system is even greater. Particularly, because dopamine neurons are critical in controlling incentive-motivated behaviours, the involvement of endocannabinoid molecules in fine-tuning dopamine cell activity opened new avenues in both understanding and treating drug addiction. Here, we review recent advances that have shed new light on the understanding of differential roles of endocannabinoids and their cognate molecules in the regulation of the reward circuit, and discuss their anti-addicting properties, particularly with a focus on their potential engagement in the prevention of relapse.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-24

    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.

  14. 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

  15. Neuronal Depolarization Drives Increased Dopamine Synaptic Vesicle Loading via VGLUT.

    PubMed

    Aguilar, Jenny I; Dunn, Matthew; Mingote, Susana; Karam, Caline S; Farino, Zachary J; Sonders, Mark S; Choi, Se Joon; Grygoruk, Anna; Zhang, Yuchao; Cela, Carolina; Choi, Ben Jiwon; Flores, Jorge; Freyberg, Robin J; McCabe, Brian D; Mosharov, Eugene V; Krantz, David E; Javitch, Jonathan A; Sulzer, David; Sames, Dalibor; Rayport, Stephen; Freyberg, Zachary

    2017-08-30

    The ability of presynaptic dopamine terminals to tune neurotransmitter release to meet the demands of neuronal activity is critical to neurotransmission. Although vesicle content has been assumed to be static, in vitro data increasingly suggest that cell activity modulates vesicle content. Here, we use a coordinated genetic, pharmacological, and imaging approach in Drosophila to study the presynaptic machinery responsible for these vesicular processes in vivo. We show that cell depolarization increases synaptic vesicle dopamine content prior to release via vesicular hyperacidification. This depolarization-induced hyperacidification is mediated by the vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT). Remarkably, both depolarization-induced dopamine vesicle hyperacidification and its dependence on VGLUT2 are seen in ventral midbrain dopamine neurons in the mouse. Together, these data suggest that in response to depolarization, dopamine vesicles utilize a cascade of vesicular transporters to dynamically increase the vesicular pH gradient, thereby increasing dopamine vesicle content. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. Transient activation of midbrain dopamine neurons by reward risk.

    PubMed

    Fiorillo, C D

    2011-12-01

    Dopamine neurons of the ventral midbrain are activated transiently following stimuli that predict future reward. This response has been shown to signal the expected value of future reward, and there is strong evidence that it drives positive reinforcement of stimuli and actions associated with reward in accord with reinforcement learning models. Behavior is also influenced by reward uncertainty, or risk, but it is not known whether the transient response of dopamine neurons is sensitive to reward risk. To investigate this, monkeys were trained to associate distinct visual stimuli with certain or uncertain volumes of juice of nearly the same expected value. In a choice task, monkeys preferred the stimulus predicting an uncertain (risky) reward outcome. In a Pavlovian task, in which the neuronal responses to each stimulus could be measured in isolation, it was found that dopamine neurons were more strongly activated by the stimulus associated with reward risk. Given extensive evidence that dopamine drives reinforcement, these results strongly suggest that dopamine neurons can reinforce risk-seeking behavior (gambling), at least under certain conditions. Risk-seeking behavior has the virtue of promoting exploration and learning, and these results support the hypothesis that dopamine neurons represent the value of exploration.

  18. Methamphetamine Regulation of Firing Activity of Dopamine Neurons.

    PubMed

    Lin, Min; Sambo, Danielle; Khoshbouei, Habibeh

    2016-10-05

    Methamphetamine (METH) is a substrate for the dopamine transporter that increases extracellular dopamine levels by competing with dopamine uptake and increasing reverse transport of dopamine via the transporter. METH has also been shown to alter the excitability of dopamine neurons. The mechanism of METH regulation of the intrinsic firing behaviors of dopamine neurons is less understood. Here we identified an unexpected and unique property of METH on the regulation of firing activity of mouse dopamine neurons. METH produced a transient augmentation of spontaneous spike activity of midbrain dopamine neurons that was followed by a progressive reduction of spontaneous spike activity. Inspection of action potential morphology revealed that METH increased the half-width and produced larger coefficients of variation of the interspike interval, suggesting that METH exposure affected the activity of voltage-dependent potassium channels in these neurons. Since METH has been shown to affect Ca(2+) homeostasis, the unexpected findings that METH broadened the action potential and decreased the amplitude of afterhyperpolarization led us to ask whether METH alters the activity of Ca(2+)-activated potassium (BK) channels. First, we identified BK channels in dopamine neurons by their voltage dependence and their response to a BK channel blocker or opener. While METH suppressed the amplitude of BK channel-mediated unitary currents, the BK channel opener NS1619 attenuated the effects of METH on action potential broadening, afterhyperpolarization repression, and spontaneous spike activity reduction. Live-cell total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, electrophysiology, and biochemical analysis suggest METH exposure decreased the activity of BK channels by decreasing BK-α subunit levels at the plasma membrane.

  19. 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

  20. Trophic factors differentiate dopamine neurons vulnerable to Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Reyes, Stefanie; Fu, Yuhong; Double, Kay L; Cottam, Veronica; Thompson, Lachlan H; Kirik, Deniz; Paxinos, George; Watson, Charles; Cooper, Helen M; Halliday, Glenda M

    2013-03-01

    Recent studies suggest a variety of factors characterize substantia nigra neurons vulnerable to Parkinson's disease, including the transcription factors pituitary homeobox 3 (Pitx3) and orthodenticle homeobox 2 (Otx2) and the trophic factor receptor deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC), but there is limited information on their expression and localization in adult humans. Pitx3, Otx2, and DCC were immunohistochemically localized in the upper brainstem of adult humans and mice and protein expression assessed using relative intensity measures and online microarray data. Pitx3 was present and highly expressed in most dopamine neurons. Surprisingly, in our elderly subjects no Otx2 immunoreactivity was detected in dopamine neurons, although Otx2 gene expression was found in younger cases. Enhanced DCC gene expression occurred in the substantia nigra, and higher amounts of DCC protein characterized vulnerable ventral nigral dopamine neurons. Our data show that, at the age when Parkinson's disease typically occurs, there are no significant differences in the expression of transcription factors in brainstem dopamine neurons, but those most vulnerable to Parkinson's disease rely more on the trophic factor receptor DCC than other brainstem dopamine neurons.

  1. Dopamine neurons learn relative chosen value from probabilistic rewards

    PubMed Central

    Lak, Armin; Stauffer, William R; Schultz, Wolfram

    2016-01-01

    Economic theories posit reward probability as one of the factors defining reward value. Individuals learn the value of cues that predict probabilistic rewards from experienced reward frequencies. Building on the notion that responses of dopamine neurons increase with reward probability and expected value, we asked how dopamine neurons in monkeys acquire this value signal that may represent an economic decision variable. We found in a Pavlovian learning task that reward probability-dependent value signals arose from experienced reward frequencies. We then assessed neuronal response acquisition during choices among probabilistic rewards. Here, dopamine responses became sensitive to the value of both chosen and unchosen options. Both experiments showed also the novelty responses of dopamine neurones that decreased as learning advanced. These results show that dopamine neurons acquire predictive value signals from the frequency of experienced rewards. This flexible and fast signal reflects a specific decision variable and could update neuronal decision mechanisms. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18044.001 PMID:27787196

  2. Dopamine neuron dependent behaviors mediated by glutamate cotransmission

    PubMed Central

    Mingote, Susana; Chuhma, Nao; Kalmbach, Abigail; Thomsen, Gretchen M; Wang, Yvonne; Mihali, Andra; Sferrazza, Caroline; Zucker-Scharff, Ilana; Siena, Anna-Claire; Welch, Martha G; Lizardi-Ortiz, José; Sulzer, David; Moore, Holly; Gaisler-Salomon, Inna; Rayport, Stephen

    2017-01-01

    Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area use glutamate as a cotransmitter. To elucidate the behavioral role of the cotransmission, we targeted the glutamate-recycling enzyme glutaminase (gene Gls1). In mice with a dopamine transporter (Slc6a3)-driven conditional heterozygous (cHET) reduction of Gls1 in their dopamine neurons, dopamine neuron survival and transmission were unaffected, while glutamate cotransmission at phasic firing frequencies was reduced, enabling a selective focus on the cotransmission. The mice showed normal emotional and motor behaviors, and an unaffected response to acute amphetamine. Strikingly, amphetamine sensitization was reduced and latent inhibition potentiated. These behavioral effects, also seen in global GLS1 HETs with a schizophrenia resilience phenotype, were not seen in mice with an Emx1-driven forebrain reduction affecting most brain glutamatergic neurons. Thus, a reduction in dopamine neuron glutamate cotransmission appears to mediate significant components of the GLS1 HET schizophrenia resilience phenotype, and glutamate cotransmission appears to be important in attribution of motivational salience. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.27566.001 PMID:28703706

  3. 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

  4. A choreography of nicotinic receptors directs the dopamine neuron routine.

    PubMed

    Ungless, Mark A; Cragg, Stephanie J

    2006-06-15

    Modulation of the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) is thought to play an important role in both health and addiction. However, a clear understanding of how these receptors regulate in vivo firing activity has been elusive. In this issue of Neuron, Mameli-Engvall and colleagues report an impressive and thought-provoking series of in vivo experiments combining single-unit recordings from dopamine neurons with nAChR subunit deletions and region-specific lentiviral subunit re-expression.

  5. Distributed and Mixed Information in Monosynaptic Inputs to Dopamine Neurons.

    PubMed

    Tian, Ju; Huang, Ryan; Cohen, Jeremiah Y; Osakada, Fumitaka; Kobak, Dmitry; Machens, Christian K; Callaway, Edward M; Uchida, Naoshige; Watabe-Uchida, Mitsuko

    2016-09-21

    Dopamine neurons encode the difference between actual and predicted reward, or reward prediction error (RPE). Although many models have been proposed to account for this computation, it has been difficult to test these models experimentally. Here we established an awake electrophysiological recording system, combined with rabies virus and optogenetic cell-type identification, to characterize the firing patterns of monosynaptic inputs to dopamine neurons while mice performed classical conditioning tasks. We found that each variable required to compute RPE, including actual and predicted reward, was distributed in input neurons in multiple brain areas. Further, many input neurons across brain areas signaled combinations of these variables. These results demonstrate that even simple arithmetic computations such as RPE are not localized in specific brain areas but, rather, distributed across multiple nodes in a brain-wide network. Our systematic method to examine both activity and connectivity revealed unexpected redundancy for a simple computation in the brain.

  6. Molecular interrogation of hypothalamic organization reveals distinct dopamine neuronal subtypes.

    PubMed

    Romanov, Roman A; Zeisel, Amit; Bakker, Joanne; Girach, Fatima; Hellysaz, Arash; Tomer, Raju; Alpár, Alán; Mulder, Jan; Clotman, Frédéric; Keimpema, Erik; Hsueh, Brian; Crow, Ailey K; Martens, Henrik; Schwindling, Christian; Calvigioni, Daniela; Bains, Jaideep S; Máté, Zoltán; Szabó, Gábor; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Zhang, Ming-Dong; Rendeiro, Andre; Farlik, Matthias; Uhlén, Mathias; Wulff, Peer; Bock, Christoph; Broberger, Christian; Deisseroth, Karl; Hökfelt, Tomas; Linnarsson, Sten; Horvath, Tamas L; Harkany, Tibor

    2017-02-01

    The hypothalamus contains the highest diversity of neurons in the brain. Many of these neurons can co-release neurotransmitters and neuropeptides in a use-dependent manner. Investigators have hitherto relied on candidate protein-based tools to correlate behavioral, endocrine and gender traits with hypothalamic neuron identity. Here we map neuronal identities in the hypothalamus by single-cell RNA sequencing. We distinguished 62 neuronal subtypes producing glutamatergic, dopaminergic or GABAergic markers for synaptic neurotransmission and harboring the ability to engage in task-dependent neurotransmitter switching. We identified dopamine neurons that uniquely coexpress the Onecut3 and Nmur2 genes, and placed these in the periventricular nucleus with many synaptic afferents arising from neuromedin S(+) neurons of the suprachiasmatic nucleus. These neuroendocrine dopamine cells may contribute to the dopaminergic inhibition of prolactin secretion diurnally, as their neuromedin S(+) inputs originate from neurons expressing Per2 and Per3 and their tyrosine hydroxylase phosphorylation is regulated in a circadian fashion. Overall, our catalog of neuronal subclasses provides new understanding of hypothalamic organization and function.

  7. Diversity and homogeneity in responses of midbrain dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Fiorillo, Christopher D; Yun, Sora R; Song, Minryung R

    2013-03-13

    Dopamine neurons of the ventral midbrain have been found to signal a reward prediction error that can mediate positive reinforcement. Despite the demonstration of modest diversity at the cellular and molecular levels, there has been little analysis of response diversity in behaving animals. Here we examine response diversity in rhesus macaques to appetitive, aversive, and neutral stimuli having relative motivational values that were measured and controlled through a choice task. First, consistent with previous studies, we observed a continuum of response variability and an apparent absence of distinct clusters in scatter plots, suggesting a lack of statistically discrete subpopulations of neurons. Second, we found that a group of "sensitive" neurons tend to be more strongly suppressed by a variety of stimuli and to be more strongly activated by juice. Third, neurons in the "ventral tier" of substantia nigra were found to have greater suppression, and a subset of these had higher baseline firing rates and late "rebound" activation after suppression. These neurons could belong to a previously identified subgroup of dopamine neurons that express high levels of H-type cation channels but lack calbindin. Fourth, neurons further rostral exhibited greater suppression. Fifth, although we observed weak activation of some neurons by aversive stimuli, this was not associated with their aversiveness. In conclusion, we find a diversity of response properties, distributed along a continuum, within what may be a single functional population of neurons signaling reward prediction error.

  8. Dopamine gates action potential backpropagation in midbrain dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Gentet, Luc J; Williams, Stephen R

    2007-02-21

    Dopamine is released from both axonal and somatodendritic sites of midbrain dopaminergic neurons in an action potential-dependent manner. In contrast to the majority of central neurons, the axon of dopaminergic neurons typically originates from a dendritic site, suggesting a specialized computational function. Here, we examine the initiation and spread of action potentials in dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars reticulata and reveal that the displacement of the axon to a dendritic site allows highly compartmentalized electrical signaling. In response to a train of synaptic input, action potentials initiated at axon-bearing dendritic sites formed a variable trigger for invasion to the soma and contralateral dendritic tree, with action potentials often confined to the axon-bearing dendrite. The application of dopamine increased this form of electrical compartmentalization, an effect mediated by a tonic membrane potential hyperpolarization leading to an increased availability of a class of voltage-dependent potassium channel. These data suggest that the release of dopamine from axonal and somatodendritic sites are dissociable, and that dopamine levels within the midbrain are dynamically controlled by the somatodendritic spread of action potentials.

  9. Heterogeneity in Dopamine Neuron Synaptic Actions Across the Striatum and Its Relevance for Schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Chuhma, Nao; Mingote, Susana; Kalmbach, Abigail; Yetnikoff, Leora; Rayport, Stephen

    2017-01-01

    Brain imaging has revealed alterations in dopamine uptake, release, and receptor levels in patients with schizophrenia that have been resolved on the scale of striatal subregions. However, the underlying synaptic mechanisms are on a finer scale. Dopamine neuron synaptic actions vary across the striatum, involving variations not only in dopamine release but also in dopamine neuron connectivity, cotransmission, modulation, and activity. Optogenetic studies have revealed that dopamine neurons release dopamine in a synaptic signal mode, and that the neurons also release glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid as cotransmitters, with striking regional variation. Fast glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid cotransmission convey discrete patterns of dopamine neuron activity to striatal neurons. Glutamate may function not only in a signaling role at a subset of dopamine neuron synapses, but also in mediating vesicular synergy, contributing to regional differences in loading of dopamine into synaptic vesicles. Regional differences in dopamine neuron signaling are likely to be differentially involved in the schizophrenia disease process and likely determine the subregional specificity of the action of psychostimulants that exacerbate the disorder, and antipsychotics that ameliorate the disorder. Elucidating dopamine neuron synaptic signaling offers the potential for achieving greater pharmacological specificity through intersectional pharmacological actions targeting subsets of dopamine neuron synapses. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Synaptic Plasticity onto Dopamine Neurons Shapes Fear Learning.

    PubMed

    Pignatelli, Marco; Umanah, George Kwabena Essien; Ribeiro, Sissi Palma; Chen, Rong; Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar Senthil; Yau, Hau-Jie; Eacker, Stephen; Dawson, Valina Lynn; Dawson, Ted Murray; Bonci, Antonello

    2017-01-18

    Fear learning is a fundamental behavioral process that requires dopamine (DA) release. Experience-dependent synaptic plasticity occurs on DA neurons while an organism is engaged in aversive experiences. However, whether synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons is causally involved in aversion learning is unknown. Here, we show that a stress priming procedure enhances fear learning by engaging VTA synaptic plasticity. Moreover, we took advantage of the ability of the ATPase Thorase to regulate the internalization of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) in order to selectively manipulate glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on DA neurons. Genetic ablation of Thorase in DAT(+) neurons produced increased AMPAR surface expression and function that lead to impaired induction of both long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP). Strikingly, animals lacking Thorase in DAT(+) neurons expressed greater associative learning in a fear conditioning paradigm. In conclusion, our data provide a novel, causal link between synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons and fear learning.

  11. Medial prefrontal D1 dopamine neurons control food intake

    PubMed Central

    Land, Benjamin B; Narayanan, Nandakumar S; Liu, Rong-Jian; Gianessi, Carol A; Brayton, Catherine E; Grimaldi, David; Sarhan, Maysa; Guarnieri, Douglas J; Deisseroth, Karl; Aghajanian, George K; Dileone, Ralph J

    2014-01-01

    Although the prefrontal cortex influences motivated behavior, its role in food intake remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate a role for D1-type dopamine receptor-expressing neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in the regulation of feeding. Food intake increases activity in D1 neurons of the mPFC in mice, and optogenetic photostimulation of D1 neurons increases feeding. Conversely, inhibition of D1 neurons decreases intake. Stimulation-based mapping of prefrontal D1 neuron projections implicates the medial basolateral amygdala (mBLA) as a downstream target of these afferents. mBLA neurons activated by prefrontal D1 stimulation are CaMKII positive and closely juxtaposed to prefrontal D1 axon terminals. Finally, photostimulating these axons in the mBLA is sufficient to increase feeding, recapitulating the effects of mPFC D1 stimulation. These data describe a new circuit for top-down control of food intake. PMID:24441680

  12. Influence of Reward Delays on Responses of Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Schultz, Wolfram

    2008-01-01

    Psychological and microeconomic studies have shown that outcome values are discounted by imposed delays. The effect, called temporal discounting, is demonstrated typically by choice preferences for sooner smaller rewards over later larger rewards. However, it is unclear whether temporal discounting occurs during the decision process when differently delayed reward outcomes are compared or during predictions of reward delays by pavlovian conditioned stimuli without choice. To address this issue, we investigated the temporal discounting behavior in a choice situation and studied the effects of reward delay on the value signals of dopamine neurons. The choice behavior confirmed hyperbolic discounting of reward value by delays on the order of seconds. Reward delay reduced the responses of dopamine neurons to pavlovian conditioned stimuli according to a hyperbolic decay function similar to that observed in choice behavior. Moreover, the stimulus responses increased with larger reward magnitudes, suggesting that both delay and magnitude constituted viable components of dopamine value signals. In contrast, dopamine responses to the reward itself increased with longer delays, possibly reflecting temporal uncertainty and partial learning. These dopamine reward value signals might serve as useful inputs for brain mechanisms involved in economic choices between delayed rewards. PMID:18667616

  13. 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

  14. Illumination controls differentiation of dopamine neurons regulating behaviour.

    PubMed

    Dulcis, Davide; Spitzer, Nicholas C

    2008-11-13

    Specification of the appropriate neurotransmitter is a crucial step in neuronal differentiation because it enables signalling among populations of neurons. Experimental manipulations demonstrate that both autonomous and activity-dependent genetic programs contribute to this process during development, but whether natural environmental stimuli specify transmitter expression in a neuronal population is unknown. We investigated neurons of the ventral suprachiasmatic nucleus that regulate neuroendocrine pituitary function in response to light in teleosts, amphibia and primates. Here we show that altering light exposure, which changes the sensory input to the circuit controlling adaptation of skin pigmentation to background, changes the number of neurons expressing dopamine in larvae of the amphibian Xenopus laevis in a circuit-specific and activity-dependent manner. Neurons newly expressing dopamine then regulate changes in camouflage colouration in response to illumination. Thus, physiological activity alters the numbers of behaviourally relevant amine-transmitter-expressing neurons in the brain at postembryonic stages of development. The results may be pertinent to changes in cognitive states that are regulated by biogenic amines.

  15. Dopamine selectively sensitizes dopaminergic neurons to rotenone-induced apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Ahmadi, Ferogh A; Grammatopoulos, Tom N; Poczobutt, Andy M; Jones, Susan M; Snell, Laurence D; Das, Mita; Zawada, W Michael

    2008-05-01

    Among various types of neurons affected in Parkinson's disease, dopamine (DA) neurons of the substantia nigra undergo the most pronounced degeneration. Products of DA oxidation and consequent cellular damage have been hypothesized to contribute to neuronal death. To examine whether elevated intracellular DA will selectively predispose the dopaminergic subpopulation of nigral neurons to damage by an oxidative insult, we first cultured rat primary mesencephalic cells in the presence of rotenone to elevate reactive oxygen species. Although MAP2(+) neurons were more sensitive to rotenone-induced toxicity than type 1 astrocytes, rotenone affected equally both DA (TH(+)) neurons and MAP2(+) neurons. In contrast, when intracellular DA concentration was elevated, DA neurons became selectively sensitized to rotenone. Raising intracellular DA levels in primary DA neurons resulted in dopaminergic neuron death in the presence of subtoxic concentrations of rotenone. Furthermore, mitochondrial superoxide dismutase mimetic, manganese (III) meso-tetrakis (4-benzoic acid) porphyrin, blocked activation of caspase-3, and consequent cell death. Our results demonstrate that an inhibitor of mitochondrial complex I and increased cytosolic DA may cooperatively lead to conditions of elevated oxidative stress and thereby promote selective demise of dopaminergic neurons.

  16. β-phenylethylamine Requires the Dopamine Transporter to Increase Extracellular Dopamine in C. elegans Dopaminergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Hossain, Murad; Wickramasekara, Rochelle N.; Carvelli, Lucia

    2013-01-01

    β-phenylethylamine (βPEA) is an endogenous amine that has been shown to increase the synaptic levels of dopamine (DA). A number of in vitro and behavioral studies suggest the dopamine transporter (DAT) plays a role in the effects generated by βPEA, however the mechanism through which βPEA affects DAT has not yet been elucidated. Here, we used Caenorhabditis (C.) elegans DAT (DAT-1) expressing LLC-pk1 cells and neuronal cultures to investigate whether the βPEA-induced increase of extracellular DA required DAT-1. Our data show that βPEA increases extracellular dopamine both in DAT-1 transfected cells and cultures of differentiated neurons. RTI-55, a cocaine homologue and DAT inhibitor, completely blocked the βPEA-induced effect in transfected cells. However in neuronal cultures, RTI-55 only partly inhibited the increase of extracellular DA generated by βPEA. These results suggest that βPEA requires DAT-1 and other, not yet identified proteins, to increase extracellular DA when tested in a native system. Furthermore, our results suggest that βPEA-induced increase of extracellular DA does not require functional monoamine vesicles as genetic ablation of the C. elegans homologue vesicular monoamine transporter, cat-1, did not compromise the ability of βPEA to increase extracellular DA. Finally, our electrophysiology data show that βPEA caused fast-rising and self-inactivating amperometric currents in a subset of wild-type DA neurons but not in neurons isolated from dat-1 knockout animals. Taken together, these data demonstrate that in both DA neurons and heterogeneous cultures of differentiated C. elegans neurons, βPEA releases cytoplasmic DA through DAT-1 to ultimately increase the extracellular concentration of DA. PMID:24161617

  17. β-Phenylethylamine requires the dopamine transporter to increase extracellular dopamine in Caenorhabditis elegans dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Hossain, Murad; Wickramasekara, Rochelle N; Carvelli, Lucia

    2014-07-01

    β-Phenylethylamine (βPEA) is an endogenous amine that has been shown to increase the synaptic levels of dopamine (DA). A number of in vitro and behavioral studies suggest the dopamine transporter (DAT) plays a role in the effects generated by βPEA, however the mechanism through which βPEA affects DAT has not yet been elucidated. Here, we used Caenorhabditis (C.) elegans DAT (DAT-1) expressing LLC-pk1 cells and neuronal cultures to investigate whether the βPEA-induced increase of extracellular DA required DAT-1. Our data show that βPEA increases extracellular dopamine both in DAT-1 transfected cells and cultures of differentiated neurons. RTI-55, a cocaine homologue and DAT inhibitor, completely blocked the βPEA-induced effect in transfected cells. However in neuronal cultures, RTI-55 only partly inhibited the increase of extracellular DA generated by βPEA. These results suggest that βPEA requires DAT-1 and other, not yet identified proteins, to increase extracellular DA when tested in a native system. Furthermore, our results suggest that βPEA-induced increase of extracellular DA does not require functional monoamine vesicles as genetic ablation of the C. elegans homologue vesicular monoamine transporter, cat-1, did not compromise the ability of βPEA to increase extracellular DA. Finally, our electrophysiology data show that βPEA caused fast-rising and self-inactivating amperometric currents in a subset of wild-type DA neurons but not in neurons isolated from dat-1 knockout animals. Taken together, these data demonstrate that in both DA neurons and heterogeneous cultures of differentiated C. elegans neurons, βPEA releases cytoplasmic DA through DAT-1 to ultimately increase the extracellular concentration of DA. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Genetic dissection of midbrain dopamine neuron development in vivo.

    PubMed

    Ellisor, Debra; Rieser, Caroline; Voelcker, Bettina; Machan, Jason T; Zervas, Mark

    2012-12-15

    Midbrain dopamine (MbDA) neurons are partitioned into medial and lateral cohorts that control complex functions. However, the genetic underpinnings of MbDA neuron heterogeneity are unclear. While it is known that Wnt1-expressing progenitors contribute to MbDA neurons, the role of Wnt1 in MbDA neuron development in vivo is unresolved. We show that mice with a spontaneous point mutation in Wnt1 have a unique phenotype characterized by the loss of medial MbDA neurons concomitant with a severe depletion of Wnt1-expressing progenitors and diminished LMX1a-expressing progenitors. Wnt1 mutant embryos also have alterations in a hierarchical gene regulatory loop suggesting multiple gene involvement in the Wnt1 mutant MbDA neuron phenotype. To investigate this possibility, we conditionally deleted Gbx2, Fgf8, and En1/2 after their early role in patterning and asked whether these genetic manipulations phenocopied the depletion of MbDA neurons in Wnt1 mutants. The conditional deletion of Gbx2 did not result in re-positioning or distribution of MbDA neurons. The temporal deletion of Fgf8 did not result in the loss of either LMX1a-expressing progenitors nor the initial population of differentiated MbDA neurons, but did result in a complete loss of MbDA neurons at later stages. The temporal deletion and species specific manipulation of En1/2 demonstrated a continued and species specific role of Engrailed genes in MbDA neuron development. Notably, our conditional deletion experiments revealed phenotypes dissimilar to Wnt1 mutants indicating the unique role of Wnt1 in MbDA neuron development. By placing Wnt1, Fgf8, and En1/2 in the context of their temporal requirement for MbDA neuron development, we further deciphered the developmental program underpinning MbDA neuron progenitors.

  19. 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.

  20. Regulation of dopamine quantal size in midbrain and hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Pothos, Emmanuel N

    2002-03-10

    Since the pioneering work of Bernard Katz and his colleagues decades ago, neurotransmitter quantal size (defined as the number of neurotransmitter molecules released by a single synaptic vesicle during exocytosis) is often modeled as invariant. This assumption had tremendous implications for basic research on synaptic plasticity. For instance, it focused attention on the postsynaptic rather than the presynaptic component in studies of learning and memory (the field of long-term potentiation comes to mind as the best example). Furthermore, this assumption somehow 'spilled over' onto studies of monoamine neurotransmitters, which apparently use diffusion and slow action to exert their modulatory effects, in contrast to the fast acting neurotransmitters studied by Katz. Consequently, research on dopamine-related diseases (e.g. psychotic and movement disorders) did not pay as much attention to presynaptic mechanisms that regulate dopamine release, as to postsynaptic receptor action. Part of the problem, of course, has been the lack of technology to directly measure quanta from presynaptic sites and the obligatory reliance on measurements of miniature postsynaptic potentials (minis) for reaching conclusions about presynaptic quantal events. Due to the introduction of the carbon fiber amperometric microelectrode in tissue electrophysiology, initially by Francois Gonon (University of Bordeaux) and then by Mark Wightman (University of North Carolina), we were able to directly measure dopamine quanta from neurites of cultured midbrain dopamine neurons by amperometry. This was the first approach to provide direct measurement of the number of molecules and kinetics of presynaptic quantal release from CNS neuronal terminals. The interventions altering dopamine quantal size are so far the following. (1) Alteration of neurotransmitter synthesis--an increase of cytosolic dopamine availability (e.g. by exposure to L-DOPA) increases quantal size and a decrease of cytosolic dopamine

  1. Methamphetamine produces bidirectional, concentration-dependent effects on dopamine neuron excitability and dopamine-mediated synaptic currents

    PubMed Central

    Branch, Sarah Y.

    2012-01-01

    Amphetamine-like compounds are commonly used to enhance cognition and to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, but they also function as positive reinforcers and are self-administered at doses far exceeding clinical relevance. Many of these compounds (including methamphetamine) are substrates for dopamine reuptake transporters, elevating extracellular dopamine by inhibiting uptake and promoting reverse transport. This produces an increase in extracellular dopamine that inhibits dopamine neuron firing through autoreceptor activation and consequently blunts phasic dopamine neurotransmission, an important learning signal. However, these mechanisms do not explain the beneficial behavioral effects observed at clinically useful concentrations. In the present study, we have used patch-clamp electrophysiology in slices of mouse midbrain to show that, surprisingly, low concentrations of methamphetamine actually enhance dopamine neurotransmission and increase dopamine neuron firing through a dopamine transporter-mediated excitatory conductance. Both of these effects are reversed by higher concentrations of methamphetamine, which inhibit firing through dopamine D2 autoreceptor activation and decrease the peak amplitude of dopamine-mediated synaptic currents. These competing, concentration-dependent effects of methamphetamine suggest a mechanistic interplay by which lower concentrations of methamphetamine can overcome autoreceptor-mediated inhibition at the soma to increase phasic dopamine transmission. PMID:22592307

  2. Endocannabinoid signaling in midbrain dopamine neurons: more than physiology?

    PubMed

    Melis, M; Pistis, M

    2007-12-01

    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.

  3. 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

  4. Whole-brain mapping of direct inputs to midbrain dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Watabe-Uchida, Mitsuko; Zhu, Lisa; Ogawa, Sachie K; Vamanrao, Archana; Uchida, Naoshige

    2012-06-07

    Recent studies indicate that dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) convey distinct signals. To explore this difference, we comprehensively identified each area's monosynaptic inputs using the rabies virus. We show that dopamine neurons in both areas integrate inputs from a more diverse collection of areas than previously thought, including autonomic, motor, and somatosensory areas. SNc and VTA dopamine neurons receive contrasting excitatory inputs: the former from the somatosensory/motor cortex and subthalamic nucleus, which may explain their short-latency responses to salient events; and the latter from the lateral hypothalamus, which may explain their involvement in value coding. We demonstrate that neurons in the striatum that project directly to dopamine neurons form patches in both the dorsal and ventral striatum, whereas those projecting to GABAergic neurons are distributed in the matrix compartment. Neuron-type-specific connectivity lays a foundation for studying how dopamine neurons compute outputs.

  5. Dysregulated dopamine storage increases the vulnerability to α-synuclein in nigral neurons.

    PubMed

    Ulusoy, Ayse; Björklund, Tomas; Buck, Kerstin; Kirik, Deniz

    2012-09-01

    Impairments in the capacity of dopaminergic neurons to handle cytoplasmic dopamine may be a critical factor underlying the selective vulnerability of midbrain dopamine neurons in Parkinson's disease. Furthermore, toxicity of α-synuclein in dopaminergic neurons has been suggested to be mediated by direct interaction between dopamine and α-synuclein through formation of abnormal α-synuclein species, although direct in vivo evidence to support this hypothesis is lacking. Here, we investigated the role of dopamine availability on α-synuclein mediated neurodegeneration in vivo. We found that overexpression of α-synuclein in nigral dopamine neurons in mice with deficient vesicular storage of dopamine led to a significant increase in dopaminergic neurodegeneration. Importantly, silencing the tyrosine hydroxylase enzyme - thereby reducing dopamine content in the nigral neurons - reversed the increased vulnerability back to the baseline level observed in wild-type littermates, but failed to eliminate it completely. Importantly, TH knockdown was not effective in altering the toxicity in the wild-type animals. Taken together, our data suggest that under normal circumstances, in healthy dopamine neurons, cytoplasmic dopamine is tightly controlled such that it does not contribute significantly to α-synuclein mediated toxicity. Dysregulation of the dopamine machinery in the substantia nigra, on the other hand, could act as a trigger for induction of increased toxicity in these neurons and could explain how these neurons become more vulnerable and die in the disease process.

  6. 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

  7. Dopamine neurons encode errors in predicting movement trigger occurrence

    PubMed Central

    Pasquereau, Benjamin

    2014-01-01

    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

  8. Dopamine Inhibition Differentially Controls Excitability of Substantia Nigra Dopamine Neuron Subpopulations through T-Type Calcium Channels.

    PubMed

    Evans, Rebekah C; Zhu, Manhua; Khaliq, Zayd M

    2017-03-29

    While there is growing appreciation for diversity among ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons, much less is known regarding functional heterogeneity among the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) neurons. Here, we show that calbindin-positive dorsal tier and calbindin-negative ventral tier SNc dopaminergic neurons in mice comprise functionally distinct subpopulations distinguished by their dendritic calcium signaling, rebound excitation, and physiological responses to dopamine D2-receptor (D2) autoinhibition. While dopamine is known to inhibit action potential backpropagation, our experiments revealed an unexpected enhancement of excitatory responses and dendritic calcium signals in the presence of D2-receptor inhibition. Specifically, dopamine inhibition and direct hyperpolarization enabled the generation of low-threshold depolarizations that occurred in an all-or-none or graded manner, due to recruitment of T-type calcium channels. Interestingly, these effects occurred selectively in calbindin-negative dopaminergic neurons within the SNc. Thus, calbindin-positive and calbindin-negative SNc neurons differ substantially in their calcium channel composition and efficacy of excitatory inputs in the presence of dopamine inhibition.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Substantia nigra dopaminergic neurons can be divided into two populations: the calbindin-negative ventral tier, which is vulnerable to neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease, and the calbindin-positive dorsal tier, which is relatively resilient. Although tonic firing is similar in these subpopulations, we find that their responses to dopamine-mediated inhibition are strikingly different. During inhibition, calbindin-negative neurons exhibit increased sensitivity to excitatory inputs, which can then trigger large dendritic calcium transients due to strong expression of T-type calcium channels. Therefore, SNc neurons differ substantially in their calcium channel composition, which may contribute to their differential

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Masoud, ST; Vecchio, LM; Bergeron, Y; Hossain, MM; Nguyen, LT; Bermejo, MK; Kile, B; Sotnikova, TD; Siesser, WB; Gainetdinov, RR; Wightman, RM; Caron, MG; Richardson, JR; Miller, GW; Ramsey, AJ; Cyr, M; Salahpour, A

    2015-01-01

    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 LDOPA 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

  11. Resilience to chronic stress is mediated by noradrenergic regulation of dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Isingrini, Elsa; Perret, Léa; Rainer, Quentin; Amilhon, Bénédicte; Guma, Elisa; Tanti, Arnaud; Martin, Garance; Robinson, Jennifer; Moquin, Luc; Marti, Fabio; Mechawar, Naguib; Williams, Sylvain; Gratton, Alain; Giros, Bruno

    2016-04-01

    Dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) help mediate stress susceptibility and resilience. However, upstream mechanisms controlling these neurons remain unknown. Noradrenergic (NE) neurons in the locus coeruleus, implicated in the pathophysiology of depression, have direct connections within the VTA. Here we demonstrate that NE neurons regulate vulnerability to social defeat through inhibitory control of VTA DA neurons.

  12. Alcohol effects on synaptic transmission in periaqueductal gray dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chia; McCall, Nora M.; Lopez, Alberto J.; Kash, Thomas L.

    2014-01-01

    The role of dopamine (DA) signaling in regulating the rewarding properties of drugs, including alcohol, has been widely studied. The majority of these studies, however, have focused on the DA neurons located in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and their projections to the nucleus accumbens. DA neurons within the ventral periaqueductal gray (vPAG) have been shown to regulate reward but little is known about the functional properties of these neurons, or how they are modified by drugs of abuse. This lack of knowledge is likely due to the highly heterogeneous cell composition of the vPAG, with both γ-amino-butyric acid (GABA) and glutamate neurons present in addition to DA neurons. In this study, we performed whole-cell recordings in a TH–eGFP transgenic mouse line to evaluate the properties of vPAG-DA neurons. Following this initial characterization, we examined how both acute and chronic alcohol exposure modify synaptic transmission onto vPAG-DA neurons. We found minimal effects of acute alcohol exposure on GABA transmission, but a robust enhancement of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in vPAG-DA. Consistent with this effect on excitatory transmission, we also found that alcohol caused an increase in firing rate. These data were in contrast to the effects of chronic intermittent alcohol exposure, which had no significant impact on either inhibitory or excitatory synaptic transmission on the vPAG-DA neurons. These data add to a growing body of literature that points to alcohol having both region-dependent and cell-type dependent effects on function. PMID:23597415

  13. Amphetamine modulates excitatory neurotransmission through endocytosis of the glutamate transporter EAAT3 in dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Underhill, Suzanne M; Wheeler, David S; Li, Minghua; Watts, Spencer D; Ingram, Susan L; Amara, Susan G

    2014-07-16

    Amphetamines modify the brain and alter behavior through mechanisms generally attributed to their ability to regulate extracellular dopamine concentrations. However, the actions of amphetamine are also linked to adaptations in glutamatergic signaling. We report here that when amphetamine enters dopamine neurons through the dopamine transporter, it stimulates endocytosis of an excitatory amino acid transporter, EAAT3, in dopamine neurons. Consistent with this decrease in surface EAAT3, amphetamine potentiates excitatory synaptic responses in dopamine neurons. We also show that the process of internalization is dynamin- and Rho-mediated and requires a unique sequence in the cytosolic C terminus of EAAT3. Introduction of a peptide based on this motif into dopamine neurons blocks the effects of amphetamine on EAAT3 internalization and its action on excitatory responses. These data indicate that the internalization of EAAT3 triggered by amphetamine increases glutamatergic signaling and thus contributes to the effects of amphetamine on neurotransmission.

  14. Midbrain dopamine neurons associated with reward processing innervate the neurogenic subventricular zone.

    PubMed

    Lennington, Jessica B; Pope, Sara; Goodheart, Anna E; Drozdowicz, Linda; Daniels, Stephen B; Salamone, John D; Conover, Joanne C

    2011-09-14

    Coordinated regulation of the adult neurogenic subventricular zone (SVZ) is accomplished by a myriad of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The neurotransmitter dopamine is one regulatory molecule implicated in SVZ function. Nigrostriatal and ventral tegmental area (VTA) midbrain dopamine neurons innervate regions adjacent to the SVZ, and dopamine synapses are found on SVZ cells. Cell division within the SVZ is decreased in humans with Parkinson's disease and in animal models of Parkinson's disease following exposure to toxins that selectively remove nigrostriatal neurons, suggesting that dopamine is critical for SVZ function and nigrostriatal neurons are the main suppliers of SVZ dopamine. However, when we examined the aphakia mouse, which is deficient in nigrostriatal neurons, we found no detrimental effect to SVZ proliferation or organization. Instead, dopamine innervation of the SVZ tracked to neurons at the ventrolateral boundary of the VTA. This same dopaminergic neuron population also innervated the SVZ of control mice. Characterization of these neurons revealed expression of proteins indicative of VTA neurons. Furthermore, exposure to the neurotoxin MPTP depleted neurons in the ventrolateral VTA and resulted in decreased SVZ proliferation. Together, these results reveal that dopamine signaling in the SVZ originates from a population of midbrain neurons more typically associated with motivational and reward processing.

  15. 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…

  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. 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

  18. Oestrogen receptors enhance dopamine neurone survival in rat midbrain.

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

    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, 17beta-oestradiol (E(2)) or selective ER agonists propyl-pyrazole-triol (PPT, ERalpha) or diarylpropionitrile (DPN, ERbeta) 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 E(2), 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 ERalpha had fewer TH-IR cells in midbrain regions than wild-type mice, whereas mice lacking ERbeta 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, ERalpha may play a more significant role.

  19. Salsolinol Facilitates Glutamatergic Transmission to Dopamine Neurons in the Posterior Ventral Tegmental Area of Rats

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Guiqin; Ye, Jiang-Hong

    2012-01-01

    Although in vivo evidence indicates that salsolinol, the condensation product of acetaldehyde and dopamine, has properties that may contribute to alcohol abuse, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. We have reported previously that salsolinol stimulates dopamine neurons in the posterior ventral tegmental area (p-VTA) partly by reducing inhibitory GABAergic transmission, and that ethanol increases glutamatergic transmission to VTA-dopamine neurons via the activation of dopamine D1 receptors (D1Rs). In this study, we tested the hypothesis that salsolinol stimulates dopamine neurons involving activation of D1Rs. By using whole-cell recordings on p-VTA-dopamine neurons in acute brain slices of rats, we found that salsolinol-induced increase in spike frequency of dopamine neurons was substantially attenuated by DL-2-amino-5-phosphono-valeric acid and 6, 7-dinitroquinoxaline-2, 3-dione, the antagonists of glutamatergic N-Methyl-D-aspartic acid and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors. Moreover, salsolinol increased the amplitude of evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) and the frequency but not the amplitude of spontaneous EPSCs. Additionally, SKF83566, a D1R antagonist attenuated the salsolinol-induced facilitation of EPSCs and of spontaneous firing of dopamine neurons. Our data reveal that salsolinol enhances glutamatergic transmission onto dopamine neurons via activation of D1Rs at the glutamatergic afferents in dopamine neurons, which contributes to salsolinol's stimulating effect on p-VTA dopamine neurons. This appears to be a novel mechanism which contributes toward rewarding properties of salsolinol. PMID:22590592

  20. Correlation between ethanol behavioral sensitization and midbrain dopamine neuron reactivity to ethanol.

    PubMed

    Didone, Vincent; Masson, Sébastien; Quoilin, Caroline; Seutin, Vincent; Quertemont, Etienne

    2016-03-01

    Repeated ethanol injections lead to a sensitization of its stimulant effects in mice. Some recent results argue against a role for ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons in ethanol behavioral sensitization. The aim of the present study was to test whether in vivo ethanol locomotor sensitization correlates with changes in either basal- or ethanol-evoked firing rates of dopamine neurons in vitro. Female Swiss mice were daily injected with 2.5 g/kg ethanol (or saline in the control group) for 7 days and their locomotor activity was recorded. At the end of the sensitization procedure, extracellular recordings were made from dopaminergic neurons in midbrain slices from these mice. Significantly higher spontaneous basal firing rates of dopamine neurons were recorded in ethanol-sensitized mice relative to control mice, but without correlations with the behavioral effects. The superfusion of sulpiride, a dopamine D2 antagonist, induced a stronger increase of dopamine neuron firing rates in ethanol-sensitized mice. This shows that the D2 feedback in dopamine neurons is preserved after chronic ethanol administration and argues against a reduced D2 feedback as an explanation for the increased dopamine neuron basal firing rates in ethanol-sensitized mice. Finally, ethanol superfusion (10-100 mM) significantly increased the firing rates of dopamine neurons and this effect was of higher magnitude in ethanol-sensitized mice. Furthermore, there were significant correlations between such a sensitization of dopamine neuron activity and ethanol behavioral sensitization. These results support the hypothesis that changes in brain dopamine neuron activity contribute to the behavioral sensitization of the stimulant effects of ethanol. © 2014 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Dual Role of Medial A10 Dopamine Neurons in Affective Encoding

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    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 D2 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. Midbrain dopamine neurons signal aversion in a reward-context-dependent manner

    PubMed Central

    Matsumoto, Hideyuki; Tian, Ju; Uchida, Naoshige; Watabe-Uchida, Mitsuko

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine is thought to regulate learning from appetitive and aversive events. Here we examined how optogenetically-identified dopamine neurons in the lateral ventral tegmental area of mice respond to aversive events in different conditions. In low reward contexts, most dopamine neurons were exclusively inhibited by aversive events, and expectation reduced dopamine neurons’ responses to reward and punishment. When a single odor predicted both reward and punishment, dopamine neurons’ responses to that odor reflected the integrated value of both outcomes. Thus, in low reward contexts, dopamine neurons signal value prediction errors (VPEs) integrating information about both reward and aversion in a common currency. In contrast, in high reward contexts, dopamine neurons acquired a short-latency excitation to aversive events that masked their VPE signaling. Our results demonstrate the importance of considering the contexts to examine the representation in dopamine neurons and uncover different modes of dopamine signaling, each of which may be adaptive for different environments. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17328.001 PMID:27760002

  5. 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

  6. Activation of dopamine neurons is critical for aversive conditioning and prevention of generalized anxiety.

    PubMed

    Zweifel, Larry S; Fadok, Jonathan P; Argilli, Emmanuela; Garelick, Michael G; Jones, Graham L; Dickerson, Tavis M K; Allen, James M; Mizumori, Sheri J Y; Bonci, Antonello; Palmiter, Richard D

    2011-05-01

    Generalized anxiety is thought to result, in part, from impairments in contingency awareness during conditioning to cues that predict aversive or fearful outcomes. Dopamine neurons of the ventral midbrain exhibit heterogeneous responses to aversive stimuli that are thought to provide a critical modulatory signal to facilitate orientation to environmental changes and assignment of motivational value to unexpected events. Here we describe a mouse model in which activation of dopamine neurons in response to an aversive stimulus is attenuated by conditional genetic inactivation of functional NMDA receptors on dopamine neurons. We discovered that altering the magnitude of excitatory responses by dopamine neurons in response to an aversive stimulus was associated with impaired conditioning to a cue that predicts an aversive outcome. Impaired conditioning by these mice was associated with the development of a persistent, generalized anxiety-like phenotype. These data are consistent with a role for dopamine in facilitating contingency awareness that is critical for the prevention of generalized anxiety.

  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. 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.

  9. Familial Parkinson mutant alpha-synuclein causes dopamine neuron dysfunction in transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Kuwahara, Tomoki; Koyama, Akihiko; Gengyo-Ando, Keiko; Masuda, Mayumi; Kowa, Hisatomo; Tsunoda, Makoto; Mitani, Shohei; Iwatsubo, Takeshi

    2006-01-06

    Mutations in alpha-synuclein gene cause familial form of Parkinson disease, and deposition of wild-type alpha-synuclein as Lewy bodies occurs as a hallmark lesion of sporadic Parkinson disease and dementia with Lewy bodies, implicating alpha-synuclein in the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease and related neurodegenerative diseases. Dopamine neurons in substantia nigra are the major site of neurodegeneration associated with alpha-synuclein deposition in Parkinson disease. Here we establish transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans (TG worms) that overexpresses wild-type or familial Parkinson mutant human alpha-synuclein in dopamine neurons. The TG worms exhibit accumulation of alpha-synuclein in the cell bodies and neurites of dopamine neurons, and EGFP labeling of dendrites is often diminished in TG worms expressing familial Parkinson disease-linked A30P or A53T mutant alpha-synuclein, without overt loss of neuronal cell bodies. Notably, TG worms expressing A30P or A53T mutant alpha-synuclein show failure in modulation of locomotory rate in response to food, which has been attributed to the function of dopamine neurons. This behavioral abnormality was accompanied by a reduction in neuronal dopamine content and was treatable by administration of dopamine. These phenotypes were not seen upon expression of beta-synuclein. The present TG worms exhibit dopamine neuron-specific dysfunction caused by accumulation of alpha-synuclein, which would be relevant to the genetic and compound screenings aiming at the elucidation of pathological cascade and therapeutic strategies for Parkinson disease.

  10. Dopamine neurons encoding long-term memory of object value for habitual behavior

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY 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

  11. Developmental regulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors within midbrain dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Azam, Layla; Chen, Yiling; Leslie, Frances M.

    2007-01-01

    We have combined anatomical and functional methodologies to provide a comprehensive analysis of the properties of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) on developing dopamine (DA) neurons. Double-labeling in situ hybridization was used to examine the expression of nAChR subunit mRNAs within developing midbrain DA neurons. As brain maturation progressed there was a change in the pattern of subunit mRNA expression within DA neurons, such that α3 and α4 subunits declined and α6 mRNA increased. Although there were strong similarities in subunit mRNA expression in substantia nigra (SNc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), there was higher expression of α4 mRNA in SNc than VTA at gestational day (G)15, and of α5, α6 and β3 mRNAs during postnatal development. Using a superfusion neurotransmitter release paradigm to functionally characterize nicotine-stimulated release of [3H]DA from striatal slices, the properties of the nAChRs on DA terminals were also found to change with age. Functional nAChRs were detected on striatal terminals at G18. There was a decrease in maximal release in the first postnatal week, followed by an increase in nicotine efficacy and potency during the second and third postnatal weeks. In the transition from adolescence (postnatal days (P) 30 and 40) to adulthood, there was a complex pattern of functional maturation of nAChRs in ventral, but not dorsal, striatum. In males, but not females, there were significant changes in both nicotine potency and efficacy during this developmental period. These findings suggest that nAChRs may play critical functional roles throughout DA neuronal maturation. PMID:17197101

  12. 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

  13. Dopamine presynaptically and heterogeneously modulates nucleus accumbens medium-spiny neuron GABA synapses in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Geldwert, Daron; Norris, J Madison; Feldman, Igor G; Schulman, Joshua J; Joyce, Myra P; Rayport, Stephen

    2006-01-01

    Background The striatal complex is the major target of dopamine action in the CNS. There, medium-spiny GABAergic neurons, which constitute about 95% of the neurons in the area, form a mutually inhibitory synaptic network that is modulated by dopamine. When put in culture, the neurons reestablish this network. In particular, they make autaptic connections that provide access to single, identified medium-spiny to medium-spiny neuron synaptic connections. Results We examined medium-spiny neuron autaptic connections in postnatal cultures from the nucleus accumbens, the ventral part of the striatal complex. These connections were subject to presynaptic dopamine modulation. D1-like receptors mediated either inhibition or facilitation, while D2-like receptors predominantly mediated inhibition. Many connections showed both D1 and D2 modulation, consistent with a significant functional colocalization of D1 and D2-like receptors at presynaptic sites. These same connections were subject to GABAA, GABAB, norepinephrine and serotonin modulation, revealing a multiplicity of modulatory autoreceptors and heteroreceptors on individual varicosities. In some instances, autaptic connections had two components that were differentially modulated by dopamine agonists, suggesting that dopamine receptors could be distributed heterogeneously on the presynaptic varicosities making up a single synaptic (i.e. autaptic) connection. Conclusion Differential trafficking of dopamine receptors to different presynaptic varicosities could explain the many controversial studies reporting widely varying degrees of dopamine receptor colocalization in medium-spiny neurons, as well as more generally the diversity of dopamine actions in target areas. Longer-term changes in the modulatory actions of dopamine in the striatal complex could be due to plasticity in the presynaptic distribution of dopamine receptors on medium-spiny neuron varicosities. PMID:16813648

  14. Loss of Mecp2 in substantia nigra dopamine neurons compromises the nigrostriatal pathway

    PubMed Central

    Gantz, Stephanie C.; Ford, Christopher P.; Neve, Kim A.; Williams, John T.

    2011-01-01

    Mutations in the methyl-CpG-binding-protein 2 (MeCP2) result in Rett Syndrome (RTT), an X-linked disorder that disrupts neurodevelopment. Girls with RTT exhibit motor deficits similar to Parkinson’s disease, suggesting defects in the nigrostriatal pathway. This study examined age-dependent changes in dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra (SN) from wild type, pre-symptomatic, and symptomatic Mecp2+/− mice. Mecp2+ neurons in the SN in Mecp2+/− mice were indistinguishable in morphology, resting conductance, and dopamine current density from neurons in wild type mice. However, the capacitance, total dendritic length, and resting conductance of Mecp2− neurons were less than that of Mecp2+ neurons as early as four weeks after birth, prior to overt symptoms. These differences were maintained throughout life. In symptomatic Mecp2+/− mice, the current induced by activation of D2 dopamine autoreceptors was significantly less in Mecp2− neurons than Mecp2+ neurons, although D2 receptor density was unaltered in Mecp2+/− mice. Electrochemical measurements revealed that significantly less dopamine was released after stimulation of striatum in adult Mecp2+/− mice compared to wild type. The decrease in size and function of Mecp2− neurons observed in adult Mecp2+/− mice was recapitulated in dopamine neurons from symptomatic Mecp2−/y males. These results show that mutation in Mecp2 results in cell-autonomous defects in the SN early in life and throughout adulthood. Ultimately, dysfunction in terminal dopamine release and D2 autoreceptor dependent currents in dopamine neurons from symptomatic females support the idea that decreased dopamine transmission due to heterogeneous Mecp2 expression contributes to the Parkinsonian features of RTT in Mecp2+/− mice. PMID:21880923

  15. JNK inhibition of VMAT2 contributes to rotenone-induced oxidative stress and dopamine neuron death

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Won-Seok; Kim, Hyung-Wook; Xia, Zhengui

    2014-01-01

    Treatment with rotenone, both in vitro and in vivo, is widely used to model dopamine neuron death in Parkinson’s disease upon exposure to environmental neurotoxicants and pesticides. Mechanisms underlying rotenone neurotoxicity are still being defined. Our recent studies suggest that rotenone-induced dopamine neuron death involves microtubule destabilization, which leads to accumulation of cytosolic dopamine and consequently reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, the c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK) is required for rotenone-induced dopamine neuron death. Here we report that the neural specific JNK3 isoform of the JNKs, but not JNK1 or JNK2, is responsible for this neuron death in primary cultured dopamine neurons. Treatment with taxol, a microtubule stabilizing agent, attenuates rotenone-induced phosphorylation and presumably activation of JNK. This suggests that JNK is activated by microtubule destabilization upon rotenone exposure. Moreover, rotenone inhibits VMAT2 activity but not VMAT2 protein levels. Significantly, treatment with SP600125, a pharmacological inhibitor of JNKs, attenuates rotenone inhibition of VMAT2. Furthermore, decreased VMAT2 activity following in vitro incubation of recombinant JNK3 protein with purified mesencephalic synaptic vesicles suggests that JNK3 can inhibit VMAT2 activity. Together with our previous findings, these results suggest that rotenone induces dopamine neuron death through a series of sequential events including microtubule destabilization, JNK3 activation, VMAT2 inhibition, accumulation of cytosolic dopamine, and generation of ROS. Our data identify JNK3 as a novel regulator of VMAT2 activity. PMID:25496994

  16. 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

  17. Dopamine receptors set the pattern of activity generated in subthalamic neurons.

    PubMed

    Baufreton, J; Zhu, Z-T; Garret, M; Bioulac, B; Johnson, S W; Taupignon, A I

    2005-11-01

    Information processing in the brain requires adequate background neuronal activity. As Parkinson's disease progresses, patients typically become akinetic; the death of dopaminergic neurons leads to a dopamine-depleted state, which disrupts information processing related to movement in a brain area called the basal ganglia. Using agonists of dopamine receptors in the D1 and D2 families on rat brain slices, we show that dopamine receptors in these two families govern the firing pattern of neurons in the subthalamic nucleus, a crucial part of the basal ganglia. We propose a conceptual frame, based on specific properties of dopamine receptors, to account for the dominance of different background firing patterns in normal and dopamine-depleted states.

  18. Dopamine Promotes Striatal Neuronal Apoptotic Death via ERK Signaling Cascades

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jun; Rusnak, Milan; Lombroso, Paul J.; Sidhu, Anita

    2009-01-01

    Although the mechanisms underlying striatal neurodegeneration are poorly understood, we have shown that striatal pathogenesis may be initiated by high synaptic levels of extracellular dopamine (DA). Here we investigated in rat striatal primary neurons the mobilization of the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways after treatment with DA. Instead of observing an elevation of the archetypical pro-cytotoxic MAPKs, p-JNK and p-p38 MAPK, we found that DA, acting through D1 DA receptors, induced a sustained stimulation of the phosphorylated form of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (p-ERK) via a cAMP/PKA/Rap1/B-Raf/MEK pathway. Blockade of D2 DA receptors, β-adrenergic receptors or NMDA receptors with receptor-specific antagonists had no significant effect on this process. Activation of D1 DA receptors and PKA by DA caused phosphorylation and inactivation of the striatal–enriched tyrosine phosphatase (STEP), an important phosphatase for the dephosphorylation and subsequent inactivation of p-ERK in striatum. Interestingly p-ERK was primarily retained in the cytoplasm, with only low amounts translocated to the nucleus. The scaffold protein β-arrestin2 interacted with both p-ERK and D1 DA receptor, triggering the cytosolic retention of p-ERK and inducing striatal neuronal apoptotic death. These data provide unique insight into a novel role of p-ERK in striatal neurodegeneration. PMID:19200235

  19. 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

  20. Mitochondrial stress-induced dopamine efflux and neuronal damage by malonate involves the dopamine transporter.

    PubMed

    Moy, Lily Y; Wang, Sheng-Ping; Sonsalla, Patricia K

    2007-02-01

    Endogenous striatal dopamine (DA) overflow has been associated with neuropathological conditions resulting from ischemia, psychostimulants, and metabolic inhibition. Malonate, a reversible inhibitor of succinate dehydrogenase, models the effects of energy impairment in neurodegenerative disorders. We have previously reported that the striatal DA efflux and damage to DA nerve terminals resulting from intrastriatal malonate infusions is prevented by prior DA depletion, suggesting that DA plays a role in the neuronal damage. We presently report that the malonate-induced DA efflux is partially mediated by reverse transport of DA from the cytosol to the extracellular space via the DA transporter (DAT). Pharmacological blockade of the DAT with a series of structurally different inhibitors [cocaine, mazindol, 1-(2-(bis(4-fluophenyl methoxy) ethyl)-4-(3-(4-fluorophenyl)-propyl)piperazine) dimethane sulfonate (GBR 13098) and methyl(-)-3beta-(p-fluorophenyl)-1alphaH,5alphaH-tropane-2beta-carboxylate1,5-naphthalene (Win 35,428)] attenuated malonate-induced DA overflow in vivo and protected mice against subsequent damage to DA nerve terminals. Consistent with these findings, the DAT inhibitors prevented malonate-induced damage to DA neurons in mesencephalic cultures and also protected against the loss of GABA neurons in this system. The DAT inhibitors did not modify malonate-induced formation of reactive oxygen species or lactate production, indicating that the DAT inhibitors neither exert antioxidant effects nor interfere with the actions of malonate. Taken together, these findings provide direct evidence that mitochondrial impairment and metabolic stress cause striatal DA efflux via the DAT and suggest that disruptions in DA homeostasis resulting from energy impairment may contribute to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases.

  1. Unexpected global impact of VTA dopamine neuron activation as measured by opto-fMRI.

    PubMed

    Lohani, S; Poplawsky, A J; Kim, S-G; Moghaddam, B

    2017-04-01

    Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are strongly implicated in cognitive and affective processing as well as in psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and substance abuse disorders. In human studies, dopamine-related functions are routinely assessed using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures of blood oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) signals during the performance of dopamine-dependent tasks. There is, however, a critical void in our knowledge about whether and how activation of VTA dopamine neurons specifically influences regional or global fMRI signals. Here, we used optogenetics in Th::Cre rats to selectively stimulate VTA dopamine neurons while simultaneously measuring global hemodynamic changes using BOLD and cerebral blood volume-weighted (CBVw) fMRI. Phasic activation of VTA dopamine neurons increased BOLD and CBVw fMRI signals in VTA-innervated limbic regions, including the ventral striatum (nucleus accumbens). Surprisingly, basal ganglia regions that receive sparse or no VTA dopaminergic innervation, including the dorsal striatum and the globus pallidus, were also activated. In fact, the most prominent fMRI signal increase in the forebrain was observed in the dorsal striatum that is not traditionally associated with VTA dopamine neurotransmission. These data establish causation between phasic activation of VTA dopamine neurons and global fMRI signals. They further suggest that mesolimbic and non-limbic basal ganglia dopamine circuits are functionally connected and thus provide a potential novel framework for understanding dopamine-dependent functions and interpreting data obtained from human fMRI studies.

  2. Unexpected global impact of VTA dopamine neuron activation as measured by opto-fMRI

    PubMed Central

    Lohani, Sweyta; Poplawsky, Alexander John; Kim, Seong-Gi; Moghaddam, Bita

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are strongly implicated in cognitive and affective processing as well as in psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, ADHD and substance abuse disorders. In human studies, dopamine-related functions are routinely assessed using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures of blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) signals during the performance of dopamine-dependent tasks. There is, however, a critical void in our knowledge about if and how activation of VTA dopamine neurons specifically influences regional or global fMRI signals. Here we used optogenetics in Th::Cre rats to selectively stimulate VTA dopamine neurons while simultaneously measuring global hemodynamic changes using BOLD and cerebral blood volume-weighted (CBVw) fMRI. Phasic activation of VTA dopamine neurons increased BOLD and CBVw fMRI signals in VTA-innervated limbic regions, including the ventral striatum (nucleus accumbens). Surprisingly, basal ganglia regions that receive sparse or no VTA dopaminergic innervation, including the dorsal striatum and the globus pallidus, were also activated. In fact, the most prominent fMRI signal increase in the forebrain was observed in the dorsal striatum that is not traditionally associated with VTA dopamine neurotransmission. These data establish causation between phasic activation of VTA dopamine neurons and global fMRI signals. They further suggest that mesolimbic and non-limbic basal ganglia dopamine circuits are functionally connected and, thus, provide a potential novel framework for understanding dopamine-dependent functions and interpreting data obtained from human fMRI studies. PMID:27457809

  3. Detection of phasic dopamine by D1 and D2 striatal medium spiny neurons.

    PubMed

    Yapo, Cedric; Nair, Anu G; Clement, Lorna; Castro, Liliana R; Hellgren Kotaleski, Jeanette; Vincent, Pierre

    2017-08-07

    Brief dopamine events are critical actors of reward-mediated learning in the striatum; the intracellular cAMP-protein kinase A (PKA) response of striatal medium spiny neurons to such events was studied dynamically using a combination of biosensor imaging in mouse brain slices and in silico simulations. Both D1 and D2 medium spiny neurons can sense brief dopamine transients in the sub-micromolar range. While dopamine transients profoundly change cAMP levels in both types of medium spiny neurons, the PKA-dependent phosphorylation level remains unaffected in D2 neurons. At the level of PKA-dependent phosphorylation, D2 unresponsiveness depends on protein phosphatase-1 (PP1) inhibition by DARPP-32. Simulations suggest that D2 medium spiny neurons could detect transient dips in dopamine level. The phasic release of dopamine in the striatum determines various aspects of reward and action selection, but the dynamics of the dopamine effect on intracellular signalling remains poorly understood. We used genetically encoded FRET biosensors in striatal brain slices to quantify the effect of transient dopamine on cAMP or PKA-dependent phosphorylation levels, and computational modelling to further explore the dynamics of this signalling pathway. Medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs), which express either D1 or D2 dopamine receptors, responded to dopamine by an increase or a decrease in cAMP, respectively. Transient dopamine showed similar sub-micromolar efficacies on cAMP in both D1 and D2 MSNs, thus challenging the commonly accepted notion that dopamine efficacy is much higher on D2 than on D1 receptors. However, in D2 MSNs, the large decrease in cAMP level triggered by transient dopamine did not translate to a decrease in PKA-dependent phosphorylation level, owing to the efficient inhibition of protein phosphatase 1 by DARPP-32. Simulations further suggested that D2 MSNs can also operate in a 'tone-sensing' mode, allowing them to detect transient dips in basal dopamine. Overall

  4. Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Signal Belief in Choice Accuracy during a Perceptual Decision.

    PubMed

    Lak, Armin; Nomoto, Kensaku; Keramati, Mehdi; Sakagami, Masamichi; Kepecs, Adam

    2017-03-20

    Central to the organization of behavior is the ability to predict the values of outcomes to guide choices. The accuracy of such predictions is honed by a teaching signal that indicates how incorrect a prediction was ("reward prediction error," RPE). In several reinforcement learning contexts, such as Pavlovian conditioning and decisions guided by reward history, this RPE signal is provided by midbrain dopamine neurons. In many situations, however, the stimuli predictive of outcomes are perceptually ambiguous. Perceptual uncertainty is known to influence choices, but it has been unclear whether or how dopamine neurons factor it into their teaching signal. To cope with uncertainty, we extended a reinforcement learning model with a belief state about the perceptually ambiguous stimulus; this model generates an estimate of the probability of choice correctness, termed decision confidence. We show that dopamine responses in monkeys performing a perceptually ambiguous decision task comply with the model's predictions. Consequently, dopamine responses did not simply reflect a stimulus' average expected reward value but were predictive of the trial-to-trial fluctuations in perceptual accuracy. These confidence-dependent dopamine responses emerged prior to monkeys' choice initiation, raising the possibility that dopamine impacts impending decisions, in addition to encoding a post-decision teaching signal. Finally, by manipulating reward size, we found that dopamine neurons reflect both the upcoming reward size and the confidence in achieving it. Together, our results show that dopamine responses convey teaching signals that are also appropriate for perceptual decisions.

  5. In vivo vulnerability of dopamine neurons to inhibition of energy metabolism.

    PubMed

    Zeevalk, G D; Manzino, L; Hoppe, J; Sonsalla, P

    1997-02-12

    In vitro studies indicate that mesencephalic dopamine neurons are more vulnerable than other neurons to impairment of energy metabolism. Such findings may have bearing on the loss of dopamine neurons in Parkinson's disease, in which mitochondrial deficiencies have been identified, but would only be relevant if the selective vulnerability were maintained in vivo. To examine this, rats were stereotaxically administered various concentrations of the succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor, malonate (0.25-4 mumol), either into the left substantia nigra or striatum. One week following injection, dopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in the mesencephalon and striatum were measured. Intranigral injection of malonate caused nigral dopamine and GABA to be comparably reduced at all doses tested. The 50% dose level for malonate vs. dopamine and GABA loss was 0.39 and 0.42 mumol, respectively. Tyrosine hydroxylase immunocytochemistry of the midbrains of rats which received an intranigral injection of malonate showed normal staining with 0.25 mumol malonate, but almost complete loss of tyrosine hydroxylase positive nigral pars compacta cells with 1 mumol malonate. Intrastriatal injection of malonate produced a loss of both tyrosine hydroxylase activity and dopamine. In contrast to what was seen in substantia nigra, there was a greater loss of dopamine than GABA in striatal regions nearest the injection site. In striatal regions most distal to the injection site, and which received the lowest concentration of malonate due to diffusion, dopamine levels were significantly reduced with all doses of malonate (0.5-4 mumol), whereas GABA levels were unaffected. Intrastriatal coinfusion of succinate along with malonate completely prevented the loss of dopamine and GABA indicating that succinate dehydrogenase inhibition was the cause of toxicity. These findings indicate that dopamine terminals in the striatum of adult rats are selectively more vulnerable than are the GABA neurons

  6. Dopamine Neurons Respond to Errors in the Prediction of Sensory Features of Expected Rewards.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Yuji K; Batchelor, Hannah M; Liu, Bing; Khanna, Akash; Morales, Marisela; Schoenbaum, Geoffrey

    2017-09-13

    Midbrain dopamine neurons have been proposed to signal prediction errors as defined in model-free reinforcement learning algorithms. While these algorithms have been extremely powerful in interpreting dopamine activity, these models do not register any error unless there is a difference between the value of what is predicted and what is received. Yet learning often occurs in response to changes in the unique features that characterize what is received, sometimes with no change in its value at all. Here, we show that classic error-signaling dopamine neurons also respond to changes in value-neutral sensory features of an expected reward. This suggests that dopamine neurons have access to a wider variety of information than contemplated by the models currently used to interpret their activity and that, while their firing may conform to predictions of these models in some cases, they are not restricted to signaling errors in the prediction of value. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. Dopamine modulation of activity of cat sensorimotor cortex neurons during conditioned reflexes.

    PubMed

    Storozhuk, V M; Khorevin, V I; Rozumna, N M; Villa, A E P; Tetko, I V

    2002-09-20

    The effects of iontophoretic application of dopamine and selective D1 or D2 dopamine receptor agonists and antagonists on impulse activity of neurons of the deep layers of the sensorimotor cortex of cat were investigated during performance of a conditioned paw movement task. The application of dopamine, Quinpirole (selective D2 receptor agonist) or SKF 38393 (selective D1 receptor agonist) increased both background (P<0.001) and evoked impulse activity (P<0.05 for selective agonists). Selective D2 and D1 receptor antagonists (Sulpiride and SKF 83566, respectively) both increased the latency of neural responses and significantly increased the latency of the conditioned paw movements (P<0.01). These data suggest that during natural physiological functions subcortical dopamine neurons provide facilitation of activity pyramidal neurons of sensorimotor cortex.

  8. Dopamine neurons modulate neural encoding and expression of depression-related behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Ferenczi, Emily A.; Tsai, Hsing-Chen; Finkelstein, Joel; Kim, Sung-Yon; Adhikari, Avishek; Thompson, Kimberly R.; Andalman, Aaron S.; Gunaydin, Lisa A.; Witten, Ilana B.; Deisseroth, Karl

    2014-01-01

    Major depression is characterized by diverse debilitating symptoms that include hopelessness and anhedonia1. Dopamine neurons involved in reward and motivation2–9 are among many neural populations that have been hypothesized to be relevant10, and certain antidepressant treatments, including medications and brain stimulation therapies, can influence the complex dopamine system. Until now it has not been possible to test this hypothesis directly, even in animal models, as existing therapeutic interventions are unable to specifically target dopamine neurons. Here we investigated directly the causal contributions of defined dopamine neurons to multidimensional depression-like phenotypes induced by chronic mild stress, by integrating behavioural, pharmacological, optogenetic and electrophysiological methods in freely moving rodents. We found that bidirectional control (inhibition or excitation) of specified midbrain dopamine neurons immediately and bidirectionally modulates (induces or relieves) multiple independent depression symptoms caused by chronic stress. By probing the circuit implementation of these effects, we observed that optogenetic recruitment of these dopamine neurons potently alters the neural encoding of depression-related behaviours in the downstream nucleus accumbens of freely moving rodents, suggesting that processes affecting depression symptoms may involve alterations in the neural encoding of action in limbic circuitry. PMID:23235822

  9. Efficient production of mesencephalic dopamine neurons by Lmx1a expression in embryonic stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Friling, Stina; Andersson, Elisabet; Thompson, Lachlan H.; Jönsson, Marie E.; Hebsgaard, Josephine B.; Nanou, Evanthia; Alekseenko, Zhanna; Marklund, Ulrika; Kjellander, Susanna; Volakakis, Nikolaos; Hovatta, Outi; El Manira, Abdeljabbar; Björklund, Anders; Perlmann, Thomas; Ericson, Johan

    2009-01-01

    Signaling factors involved in CNS development have been used to control the differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) into mesencephalic dopamine (mesDA) neurons, but tend to generate a limited yield of desired cell type. Here we show that forced expression of Lmx1a, a transcription factor functioning as a determinant of mesDA neurons during embryogenesis, effectively can promote the generation of mesDA neurons from mouse and human ESCs. Under permissive culture conditions, 75%–95% of mouse ESC-derived neurons express molecular and physiological properties characteristic of bona fide mesDA neurons. Similar to primary mesDA neurons, these cells integrate and innervate the striatum of 6-hydroxy dopamine lesioned neonatal rats. Thus, the enriched generation of functional mesDA neurons by forced expression of Lmx1a may be of future importance in cell replacement therapy of Parkinson disease. PMID:19383789

  10. Enhanced Sensitivity to Hyperpolarizing Inhibition in Mesoaccumbal Relative to Nigrostriatal Dopamine Neuron Subpopulations

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Midbrain dopamine neurons recorded in vivo pause their firing in response to reward omission and aversive stimuli. While the initiation of pauses typically involves synaptic or modulatory input, intrinsic membrane properties may also enhance or limit hyperpolarization, raising the question of how intrinsic conductances shape pauses in dopamine neurons. Using retrograde labeling and electrophysiological techniques combined with computational modeling, we examined the intrinsic conductances that shape pauses evoked by current injections and synaptic stimulation in subpopulations of dopamine neurons grouped according to their axonal projections to the nucleus accumbens or dorsal striatum in mice. Testing across a range of conditions and pulse durations, we found that mesoaccumbal and nigrostriatal neurons differ substantially in rebound properties with mesoaccumbal neurons displaying significantly longer delays to spiking following hyperpolarization. The underlying mechanism involves an inactivating potassium (IA) current with decay time constants of up to 225 ms, and small-amplitude hyperpolarization-activated currents (IH), characteristics that were most often observed in mesoaccumbal neurons. Pharmacological block of IA completely abolished rebound delays and, importantly, shortened synaptically evoked inhibitory pauses, thereby demonstrating the involvement of A-type potassium channels in prolonging pauses evoked by GABAergic inhibition. Therefore, these results show that mesoaccumbal and nigrostriatal neurons display differential responses to hyperpolarizing inhibitory stimuli that favors a higher sensitivity to inhibition in mesoaccumbal neurons. These findings may explain, in part, observations from in vivo experiments that ventral tegmental area neurons tend to exhibit longer aversive pauses relative to SNc neurons. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Our study examines rebound, postburst, and synaptically evoked inhibitory pauses in subpopulations of midbrain dopamine

  11. Modulation of sympathetic transmission by neuronally-released dopamine.

    PubMed Central

    Hope, W.; Majewski, H.; McCulloch, M. W.; Rand, M. J.; Story, D. F.

    1979-01-01

    1 When rabbits were pretreated with Fla-63, there was a marked inhibition of dopamine-beta-hydroxylase such that, after incubation of the ear arteries with [3H]-dopamine 47.2% of the tritium in the tissue was retained as unchanged dopamine. 2 [3H]-dopamine was released by stimulation of the sympathetic nerves in ear arteries taken from rabbits pretreated with Fla-63 and incubated with [3H]-dopamine. 3 The dopamine antagonists metoclopramide (1.0 microM) and ergometrine (1.0 microM) enhanced the stimulation-induced efflux of tritium in ear arteries taken from rabbits pretreated with Fla-63 and incubated with [3H]-dopamine, but not when the arteries were incubated with [3H]-noradrenaline. 4. These results suggest that if dopamine is present in the transmitter stores, it can be released by stimulation of the sympathetic nerves, and if the amount is adequate, it can activate an inhibitory feedback loop where prejunctional dopamine receptors are present. PMID:227509

  12. 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

  13. Coexistence of glutamatergic spine synapses and shaft synapses in substantia nigra dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Miae; Bum Um, Ki; Jang, Jinyoung; Jin Kim, Hyun; Cho, Hana; Chung, Sungkwon; Kyu Park, Myoung

    2015-01-01

    Dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra have long been believed to have multiple aspiny dendrites which receive many glutamatergic synaptic inputs from several regions of the brain. But, here, using high-resolution two-photon confocal microscopy in the mouse brain slices, we found a substantial number of common dendritic spines in the nigral dopamine neurons including thin, mushroom, and stubby types of spines. However, the number of dendritic spines of the dopamine neurons was approximately five times lower than that of CA1 pyramidal neurons. Immunostaining and morphological analysis revealed that glutamatergic shaft synapses were present two times more than spine synapses. Using local two-photon glutamate uncaging techniques, we confirmed that shaft synapses and spine synapses had both AMPA and NMDA receptors, but the AMPA/NMDA current ratios differed. The evoked postsynaptic potentials of spine synapses showed lower amplitudes but longer half-widths than those of shaft synapses. Therefore, we provide the first evidence that the midbrain dopamine neurons have two morphologically and functionally distinct types of glutamatergic synapses, spine synapses and shaft synapses, on the same dendrite. This peculiar organization could be a new basis for unraveling many physiological and pathological functions of the midbrain dopamine neurons. PMID:26435058

  14. Chronic morphine induces visible changes in the morphology of mesolimbic dopamine neurons.

    PubMed Central

    Sklair-Tavron, L; Shi, W X; Lane, S B; Harris, H W; Bunney, B S; Nestler, E J

    1996-01-01

    The mesolimbic dopamine system, which arises in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), is an important neural substrate for opiate reinforcement and addiction. Chronic exposure to opiates is known to produce biochemical adaptations in this brain region. We now show that these adaptations are associated with structural changes in VTA dopamine neurons. Individual VTA neurons in paraformaldehyde-fixed brain sections from control or morphine-treated rats were injected with the fluorescent dye Lucifer yellow. The identity of the injected cells as dopaminergic or nondopaminergic was determined by immunohistochemical labeling of the sections for tyrosine hydroxylase. Chronic morphine treatment resulted in a mean approximately 25% reduction in the area and perimeter of VTA dopamine neurons. This reduction in cell size was prevented by concomitant treatment of rats with naltrexone, an opioid receptor antagonist, as well as by intra-VTA infusion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor. In contrast, chronic morphine treatment did not alter the size of nondopaminergic neurons in the VTA, nor did it affect the total number of dopaminergic neurons in this brain region. The results of these studies provide direct evidence for structural alterations in VTA dopamine neurons as a consequence of chronic opiate exposure, which could contribute to changes in mesolimbic dopamine function associated with addiction. Images Fig. 2 Fig. 4 PMID:8855333

  15. Coexistence of glutamatergic spine synapses and shaft synapses in substantia nigra dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Jang, Miae; Um, Ki Bum; Jang, Jinyoung; Kim, Hyun Jin; Cho, Hana; Chung, Sungkwon; Park, Myoung Kyu

    2015-10-05

    Dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra have long been believed to have multiple aspiny dendrites which receive many glutamatergic synaptic inputs from several regions of the brain. But, here, using high-resolution two-photon confocal microscopy in the mouse brain slices, we found a substantial number of common dendritic spines in the nigral dopamine neurons including thin, mushroom, and stubby types of spines. However, the number of dendritic spines of the dopamine neurons was approximately five times lower than that of CA1 pyramidal neurons. Immunostaining and morphological analysis revealed that glutamatergic shaft synapses were present two times more than spine synapses. Using local two-photon glutamate uncaging techniques, we confirmed that shaft synapses and spine synapses had both AMPA and NMDA receptors, but the AMPA/NMDA current ratios differed. The evoked postsynaptic potentials of spine synapses showed lower amplitudes but longer half-widths than those of shaft synapses. Therefore, we provide the first evidence that the midbrain dopamine neurons have two morphologically and functionally distinct types of glutamatergic synapses, spine synapses and shaft synapses, on the same dendrite. This peculiar organization could be a new basis for unraveling many physiological and pathological functions of the midbrain dopamine neurons.

  16. 5-HT2C Receptors Localize to Dopamine and GABA Neurons in the Rat Mesoaccumbens Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Bubar, Marcy J.; Stutz, Sonja J.; Cunningham, Kathryn A.

    2011-01-01

    The serotonin 5-HT2C receptor (5-HT2CR) is localized to the limbic-corticostriatal circuit, which plays an integral role in mediating attention, motivation, cognition, and reward processes. The 5-HT2CR is linked to modulation of mesoaccumbens dopamine neurotransmission via an activation of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). However, we recently demonstrated the expression of the 5-HT2CR within dopamine VTA neurons suggesting the possibility of a direct influence of the 5-HT2CR upon mesoaccumbens dopamine output. Here, we employed double-label fluorescence immunochemistry with the synthetic enzymes for dopamine (tyrosine hydroxylase; TH) and GABA (glutamic acid decarboxylase isoform 67; GAD-67) and retrograde tract tracing with FluoroGold (FG) to uncover whether dopamine and GABA VTA neurons that possess 5-HT2CR innervate the nucleus accumbens (NAc). The highest numbers of FG-labeled cells were detected in the middle versus rostral and caudal levels of the VTA, and included a subset of TH- and GAD-67 immunoreactive cells, of which >50% also contained 5-HT2CR immunoreactivity. Thus, we demonstrate for the first time that the 5-HT2CR colocalizes in DA and GABA VTA neurons which project to the NAc, describe in detail the distribution of NAc-projecting GABA VTA neurons, and identify the colocalization of TH and GAD-67 in the same NAc-projecting VTA neurons. These data suggest that the 5-HT2CR may exert direct influence upon both dopamine and GABA VTA output to the NAc. Further, the indication that a proportion of NAc-projecting VTA neurons synthesize and potentially release both dopamine and GABA adds intriguing complexity to the framework of the VTA and its postulated neuroanatomical roles. PMID:21687728

  17. Cortical regulation of dopamine depletion-induced dendritic spine loss in striatal medium spiny neurons.

    PubMed

    Neely, M D; Schmidt, D E; Deutch, A Y

    2007-10-26

    The proximate cause of Parkinson's disease is striatal dopamine depletion. Although no overt toxicity to striatal neurons has been reported in Parkinson's disease, one of the consequences of striatal dopamine loss is a decrease in the number of dendritic spines on striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs). Dendrites of these neurons receive cortical glutamatergic inputs onto the dendritic spine head and dopaminergic inputs from the substantia nigra onto the spine neck. This synaptic arrangement suggests that dopamine gates corticostriatal glutamatergic drive onto spines. Using triple organotypic slice cultures composed of ventral mesencephalon, striatum, and cortex of the neonatal rat, we examined the role of the cortex in dopamine depletion-induced dendritic spine loss in MSNs. The striatal dopamine innervation was lesioned by treatment of the cultures with the dopaminergic neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) or by removing the mesencephalon. Both MPP+ and mesencephalic ablation decreased MSN dendritic spine density. Analysis of spine morphology revealed that thin spines were preferentially lost after dopamine depletion. Removal of the cortex completely prevented dopamine depletion-induced spine loss. These data indicate that the dendritic remodeling of MSNs seen in parkinsonism occurs secondary to increases in corticostriatal glutamatergic drive, and suggest that modulation of cortical activity may be a useful therapeutic strategy in Parkinson's disease.

  18. Cortical Regulation of Dopamine Depletion-Induced Dendritic Spine Loss in Striatal Medium Spiny Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Neely, M. Diana; Schmidt, Dennis E.; Deutch, Ariel Y.

    2007-01-01

    The proximate cause of Parkinson’s Disease is striatal dopamine depletion. Although no overt toxicity to striatal neurons has been reported in Parkinson’s Disease, one of the consequences of striatal dopamine loss is a decrease in the number of dendritic spines on striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs). Dendrites of these neurons receive cortical glutamatergic inputs onto the dendritic spine head and dopaminergic inputs from the substantia nigra onto the spine neck. This synaptic arrangement suggests that dopamine gates corticostriatal glutamatergic drive onto spines. Using triple organotypic slice cultures comprised of ventral mesencephalon, striatum, and cortex, we examined the role of the cortex in dopamine depletion-induced dendritic spine loss in MSNs. The striatal dopamine innervation was lesioned by treatment of the cultures with the dopaminergic neurotoxin MPP+ or by removing the mesencephalon. Both MPP+ and mesencephalic ablation decreased MSN dendritic spine density. Analysis of spine morphology revealed that thin spines were preferentially lost after dopamine depletion. Removal of the cortex completely prevented dopamine depletion-induced spine loss. These data indicate that the dendritic remodeling of MSNs seen in parkinsonism occurs secondary to increases in corticostriatal glutamatergic drive, and suggest that modulation of cortical activity may be a useful therapeutic strategy in Parkinson’s Disease. PMID:17888581

  19. Dopamine-dependent effects on basal and glutamate stimulated network dynamics in cultured hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Li, Yan; Chen, Xin; Dzakpasu, Rhonda; Conant, Katherine

    2017-02-01

    Oscillatory activity occurs in cortical and hippocampal networks with specific frequency ranges thought to be critical to working memory, attention, differentiation of neuronal precursors, and memory trace replay. Synchronized activity within relatively large neuronal populations is influenced by firing and bursting frequency within individual cells, and the latter is modulated by changes in intrinsic membrane excitability and synaptic transmission. Published work suggests that dopamine, a potent modulator of learning and memory, acts on dopamine receptor 1-like dopamine receptors to influence the phosphorylation and trafficking of glutamate receptor subunits, along with long-term potentiation of excitatory synaptic transmission in striatum and prefrontal cortex. Prior studies also suggest that dopamine can influence voltage gated ion channel function and membrane excitability in these regions. Fewer studies have examined dopamine's effect on related endpoints in hippocampus, or potential consequences in terms of network burst dynamics. In this study, we record action potential activity using a microelectrode array system to examine the ability of dopamine to modulate baseline and glutamate-stimulated bursting activity in an in vitro network of cultured murine hippocampal neurons. We show that dopamine stimulates a dopamine type-1 receptor-dependent increase in number of overall bursts within minutes of its application. Notably, however, at the concentration used herein, dopamine did not increase the overall synchrony of bursts between electrodes. Although the number of bursts normalizes by 40 min, bursting in response to a subsequent glutamate challenge is enhanced by dopamine pretreatment. Dopamine-dependent potentiation of glutamate-stimulated bursting was not observed when the two modulators were administered concurrently. In parallel, pretreatment of murine hippocampal cultures with dopamine stimulated lasting increases in the phosphorylation of the

  20. Dopamine beta-hydroxylase immunoreactivity in human cerebrospinal fluid: properties, relationship to central noradrenergic neuronal activity and variation in Parkinson's disease and congenital dopamine beta-hydroxylase deficiency.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, D T; Cervenka, J H; Stone, R A; Levine, G L; Parmer, R J; Franco-Bourland, R E; Madrazo, I; Langlais, P J; Robertson, D; Biaggioni, I

    1994-02-01

    1. Dopamine beta-hydroxylase is stored and released with catecholamines by exocytosis from secretory vesicles in noradrenergic neurons and chromaffin cells. Although dopamine beta-hydroxylase enzymic activity is measurable in cerebrospinal fluid, such activity is unstable, and its relationship to central noradrenergic neuronal activity in humans is not clearly established. To explore the significance of cerebrospinal fluid dopamine beta-hydroxylase, we applied a homologous human dopamine beta-hydroxylase radioimmunoassay to cerebrospinal fluid, in order to characterize the properties and stability of cerebrospinal fluid dopamine beta-hydroxylase, as well as its relationship to central noradrenergic neuronal activity and its variation in disease states such as hypertension, renal failure, Parkinsonism and congenital dopamine beta-hydroxylase deficiency. 2. Authentic, physically stable dopamine beta-hydroxylase immunoreactivity was present in normal human cerebrospinal fluid at a concentration of 31.3 +/- 1.4 ng/ml (range: 18.5-52.5 ng/ml), but at a 283 +/- 27-fold lower concentration than that found in plasma. Cerebrospinal fluid and plasma dopamine beta-hydroxylase concentrations were correlated (r = 0.67, P = 0.001). Some degree of local central nervous system control of cerebrospinal fluid dopamine beta-hydroxylase was suggested by incomplete correlation with plasma dopamine beta-hydroxylase (with an especially marked dissociation in renal disease) as well as the lack of a ventricular/lumbar cerebrospinal dopamine beta-hydroxylase concentration gradient. 3. Cerebrospinal fluid dopamine beta-hydroxylase was not changed by the central alpha 2-agonist clonidine at a dose that diminished cerebrospinal fluid noradrenaline, nor did cerebrospinal fluid dopamine beta-hydroxylase correspond between subjects to cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of noradrenaline or methoxyhydroxyphenylglycol; thus, cerebrospinal fluid dopamine beta-hydroxylase concentration was not closely

  1. Dopamine from the brain promotes spinal motor neuron generation during development and adult regeneration.

    PubMed

    Reimer, Michell M; Norris, Anneliese; Ohnmacht, Jochen; Patani, Rickie; Zhong, Zhen; Dias, Tatyana B; Kuscha, Veronika; Scott, Angela L; Chen, Yu-Chia; Rozov, Stanislav; Frazer, Sarah L; Wyatt, Cameron; Higashijima, Shin-ichi; Patton, E Elizabeth; Panula, Pertti; Chandran, Siddharthan; Becker, Thomas; Becker, Catherina G

    2013-06-10

    Coordinated development of brain stem and spinal target neurons is pivotal for the emergence of a precisely functioning locomotor system. Signals that match the development of these far-apart regions of the central nervous system may be redeployed during spinal cord regeneration. Here we show that descending dopaminergic projections from the brain promote motor neuron generation at the expense of V2 interneurons in the developing zebrafish spinal cord by activating the D4a receptor, which acts on the hedgehog pathway. Inhibiting this essential signal during early neurogenesis leads to a long-lasting reduction of motor neuron numbers and impaired motor responses of free-swimming larvae. Importantly, during successful spinal cord regeneration in adult zebrafish, endogenous dopamine promotes generation of spinal motor neurons, and dopamine agonists augment this process. Hence, we describe a supraspinal control mechanism for the development and regeneration of specific spinal cell types that uses dopamine as a signal.

  2. Dynamic regulation of midbrain dopamine neuron activity: intrinsic, synaptic, and plasticity mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Morikawa, H; Paladini, C A

    2011-12-15

    Although the roles of dopaminergic signaling in learning and behavior are well established, it is not fully understood how the activity of dopaminergic neurons is dynamically regulated under different conditions in a constantly changing environment. Dopamine neurons must integrate sensory, motor, and cognitive information online to inform the organism to pursue outcomes with the highest reward probability. In this article, we provide an overview of recent advances on the intrinsic, extrinsic (i.e., synaptic), and plasticity mechanisms controlling dopamine neuron activity, mostly focusing on mechanistic studies conducted using ex vivo brain slice preparations. We also hope to highlight some unresolved questions regarding information processing that takes place at dopamine neurons, thereby stimulating further investigations at different levels of analysis.

  3. Cannabinoids excite dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmentum and substantia nigra.

    PubMed

    French, E D; Dillon, K; Wu, X

    1997-02-10

    Extracellular recordings were used to determine the effects of cannabinoids on the activity of dopamine neurons within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC). Systemic administration of the natural psychoactive cannabinoid delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 9-THC) and the synthetic cannabimimetic aminoalkylindole WIN 55,212-2 produced dose-dependent increases in firing rate and burst firing in both neuronal populations. These effects appear to be specific as the non-psychoactive cannabidiol and the inactive enantiomer WIN 55,212-3 failed to alter either parameter of neuronal excitability. Furthermore, dopamine neurons in the VTA were more sensitive than those in the SNC to the stimulatory actions of delta 9-THC. These results may provide a mechanism by which psychoactive cannabinoids increase extracellular dopamine levels in mesolimbic and striatal tissues, and thereby contribute to the reinforcing effects of marijuana.

  4. Dynamic Regulation of Midbrain Dopamine Neuron Activity: Intrinsic, Synaptic, and Plasticity Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Morikawa, Hitoshi; Paladini, Carlos A.

    2011-01-01

    Although the roles of dopaminergic signaling in learning and behavior are well established, it is not fully understood how the activity of dopaminergic neurons is dynamically regulated under different conditions in a constantly changing environment. Dopamine neurons must integrate sensory, motor, and cognitive information online to inform the organism to pursue outcomes with the highest reward probability. In this article, we provide an overview of recent advances on the intrinsic, extrinsic (i.e., synaptic), and plasticity mechanisms controlling dopamine neuron activity, mostly focusing on mechanistic studies conducted using ex vivo brain slice preparations. We also hope to highlight some unresolved questions regarding information processing that takes place at dopamine neurons, thereby stimulating further investigations at different levels of analysis. PMID:21872647

  5. Sexual congruency in the connectome and translatome of VTA dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Chung, Amanda S; Miller, Samara M; Sun, Yanjun; Xu, Xiangmin; Zweifel, Larry S

    2017-09-11

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine system is important for reward, motivation, emotion, learning, and memory. Dysfunctions in the dopamine system are linked to multiple neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, many of which present with sex differences. Little is known about the extent of heterogeneity in the basic organization of VTA dopamine neurons with regard to sex. Here, we characterized the cell-specific connectivity of VTA dopamine neurons, their mRNA translational profile, and basic electrophysiological characteristics in a common strain of mice. We found no major differences in these metrics, except for differential expression of a Y-chromosome associated mRNA transcript, Eif2s3y, and the X-linked, X-inactivation transcript Xist. Of note, Xist transcript was significantly enriched in dopamine neurons, suggesting tight regulation of X-linked gene expression to ensure sexual congruency. These data indicate that the features that make dopamine neurons unique are highly concordant and not a principal source of sexual dimorphism.

  6. Endocannabinoid release from midbrain dopamine neurons: a potential substrate for cannabinoid receptor antagonist treatment of addiction.

    PubMed

    Lupica, Carl R; Riegel, Arthur C

    2005-06-01

    Substantial evidence suggests that all commonly abused drugs act upon the brain reward circuitry to ultimately increase extracellular concentrations of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the nucleus accumbens and other forebrain areas. Many drugs of abuse appear to increase dopamine levels by dramatically increase the firing and bursting rates of dopamine neurons located in the ventral mesencephalon. Recent clinical evidence in humans and behavioral evidence in animals indicate that cannabinoid receptor antagonists such as SR141716A (Rimonabant) can reduce the self-administration of, and craving for, several commonly addictive drugs. However, the mechanism of this potentially beneficial effect has not yet been identified. We propose, on the basis of recent studies in our laboratory and others, that these antagonists may act by blocking the effects of endogenously released cannabinoid molecules (endocannabinoids) that are released in an activity- and calcium-dependent manner from mesencephalic dopamine neurons. It is hypothesized that, through the antagonism of cannabinoid CB1 receptors located on inhibitory and excitatory axon terminals targeting the midbrain dopamine neurons, the effects of the endocannabinoids are occluded. The data from these studies therefore suggest that the endocannabinoid system and the CB1 receptors located in the ventral mesencephalon may play an important role in regulating drug reward processes, and that this substrate is recruited whenever dopamine neuron activity is increased.

  7. Glycine Transporter-1 Inhibition Promotes Striatal Axon Sprouting via NMDA Receptors in Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Castagna, Candace; Mrejeru, Ana; Lizardi-Ortiz, José E.; Klein, Zoe; Lindsley, Craig W.

    2013-01-01

    NMDA receptor activity is involved in shaping synaptic connections throughout development and adulthood. We recently reported that brief activation of NMDA receptors on cultured ventral midbrain dopamine neurons enhanced their axon growth rate and induced axonal branching. To test whether this mechanism was relevant to axon regrowth in adult animals, we examined the reinnervation of dorsal striatum following nigral dopamine neuron loss induced by unilateral intrastriatal injections of the toxin 6-hydroxydopamine. We used a pharmacological approach to enhance NMDA receptor-dependent signaling by treatment with an inhibitor of glycine transporter-1 that elevates levels of extracellular glycine, a coagonist required for NMDA receptor activation. All mice displayed sprouting of dopaminergic axons from spared fibers in the ventral striatum to the denervated dorsal striatum at 7 weeks post-lesion, but the reinnervation in mice treated for 4 weeks with glycine uptake inhibitor was approximately twice as dense as in untreated mice. The treated mice also displayed higher levels of striatal dopamine and a complete recovery from lateralization in a test of sensorimotor behavior. We confirmed that the actions of glycine uptake inhibition on reinnervation and behavioral recovery required NMDA receptors in dopamine neurons using targeted deletion of the NR1 NMDA receptor subunit in dopamine neurons. Glycine transport inhibitors promote functionally relevant sprouting of surviving dopamine axons and could provide clinical treatment for disorders such as Parkinson's disease. PMID:24133278

  8. Optogenetic mimicry of the transient activation of dopamine neurons by natural reward is sufficient for operant reinforcement.

    PubMed

    Kim, Kyung Man; Baratta, Michael V; Yang, Aimei; Lee, Doheon; Boyden, Edward S; Fiorillo, Christopher D

    2012-01-01

    Activation of dopamine receptors in forebrain regions, for minutes or longer, is known to be sufficient for positive reinforcement of stimuli and actions. However, the firing rate of dopamine neurons is increased for only about 200 milliseconds following natural reward events that are better than expected, a response which has been described as a "reward prediction error" (RPE). Although RPE drives reinforcement learning (RL) in computational models, it has not been possible to directly test whether the transient dopamine signal actually drives RL. Here we have performed optical stimulation of genetically targeted ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons expressing Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) in mice. We mimicked the transient activation of dopamine neurons that occurs in response to natural reward by applying a light pulse of 200 ms in VTA. When a single light pulse followed each self-initiated nose poke, it was sufficient in itself to cause operant reinforcement. Furthermore, when optical stimulation was delivered in separate sessions according to a predetermined pattern, it increased locomotion and contralateral rotations, behaviors that are known to result from activation of dopamine neurons. All three of the optically induced operant and locomotor behaviors were tightly correlated with the number of VTA dopamine neurons that expressed ChR2, providing additional evidence that the behavioral responses were caused by activation of dopamine neurons. These results provide strong evidence that the transient activation of dopamine neurons provides a functional reward signal that drives learning, in support of RL theories of dopamine function.

  9. Optogenetic Mimicry of the Transient Activation of Dopamine Neurons by Natural Reward Is Sufficient for Operant Reinforcement

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Kyung Man; Baratta, Michael V.; Yang, Aimei; Lee, Doheon; Boyden, Edward S.; Fiorillo, Christopher D.

    2012-01-01

    Activation of dopamine receptors in forebrain regions, for minutes or longer, is known to be sufficient for positive reinforcement of stimuli and actions. However, the firing rate of dopamine neurons is increased for only about 200 milliseconds following natural reward events that are better than expected, a response which has been described as a “reward prediction error” (RPE). Although RPE drives reinforcement learning (RL) in computational models, it has not been possible to directly test whether the transient dopamine signal actually drives RL. Here we have performed optical stimulation of genetically targeted ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons expressing Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) in mice. We mimicked the transient activation of dopamine neurons that occurs in response to natural reward by applying a light pulse of 200 ms in VTA. When a single light pulse followed each self-initiated nose poke, it was sufficient in itself to cause operant reinforcement. Furthermore, when optical stimulation was delivered in separate sessions according to a predetermined pattern, it increased locomotion and contralateral rotations, behaviors that are known to result from activation of dopamine neurons. All three of the optically induced operant and locomotor behaviors were tightly correlated with the number of VTA dopamine neurons that expressed ChR2, providing additional evidence that the behavioral responses were caused by activation of dopamine neurons. These results provide strong evidence that the transient activation of dopamine neurons provides a functional reward signal that drives learning, in support of RL theories of dopamine function. PMID:22506004

  10. Optogenetic Stimulation of Frontal D1 Neurons Compensates for Impaired Temporal Control of Action in Dopamine-Depleted Mice.

    PubMed

    Kim, Young-Cho; Han, Sang-Woo; Alberico, Stephanie L; Ruggiero, Rafael N; De Corte, Benjamin; Chen, Kuan-Hua; Narayanan, Nandakumar S

    2017-01-09

    Disrupted mesocortical dopamine contributes to cognitive symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD). Past work has implicated medial frontal neurons expressing D1 dopamine receptors (D1DRs) in temporal processing. Here, we investigated whether these neurons can compensate for behavioral deficits resulting from midbrain dopamine dysfunction. We report three main results. First, both PD patients and mice with ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine depletion had attenuated delta activity (1-4 Hz) in the medial frontal cortex (MFC) during interval timing. Second, we found that optogenetically stimulating MFC D1DR neurons could increase ramping activity among MFC neurons. Finally, stimulating MFC D1DR neurons specifically at delta frequencies (2 Hz) compensated for deficits in temporal control of action caused by VTA dopamine depletion. Our results suggest that cortical networks can be targeted by frequency-specific brain stimulation to improve dopamine-dependent cognitive processing. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. JNK inhibition of VMAT2 contributes to rotenone-induced oxidative stress and dopamine neuron death.

    PubMed

    Choi, Won-Seok; Kim, Hyung-Wook; Xia, Zhengui

    2015-02-03

    Treatment with rotenone, both in vitro and in vivo, is widely used to model dopamine neuron death in Parkinson's disease upon exposure to environmental neurotoxicants and pesticides. Mechanisms underlying rotenone neurotoxicity are still being defined. Our recent studies suggest that rotenone-induced dopamine neuron death involves microtubule destabilization, which leads to accumulation of cytosolic dopamine and consequently reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, the c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK) is required for rotenone-induced dopamine neuron death. Here we report that the neural specific JNK3 isoform of the JNKs, but not JNK1 or JNK2, is responsible for this neuron death in primary cultured dopamine neurons. Treatment with taxol, a microtubule stabilizing agent, attenuates rotenone-induced phosphorylation and presumably activation of JNK. This suggests that JNK is activated by microtubule destabilization upon rotenone exposure. Moreover, rotenone inhibits VMAT2 activity but not VMAT2 protein levels. Significantly, treatment with SP600125, a pharmacological inhibitor of JNKs, attenuates rotenone inhibition of VMAT2. Furthermore, decreased VMAT2 activity following in vitro incubation of recombinant JNK3 protein with purified mesencephalic synaptic vesicles suggests that JNK3 can inhibit VMAT2 activity. Together with our previous findings, these results suggest that rotenone induces dopamine neuron death through a series of sequential events including microtubule destabilization, JNK3 activation, VMAT2 inhibition, accumulation of cytosolic dopamine, and generation of ROS. Our data identify JNK3 as a novel regulator of VMAT2 activity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Neuroprotection of midbrain dopamine neurons by nicotine is gated by cytoplasmic Ca2+.

    PubMed

    Toulorge, Damien; Guerreiro, Serge; Hild, Audrey; Maskos, Uwe; Hirsch, Etienne C; Michel, Patrick P

    2011-08-01

    Epidemiological and experimental evidence indicates that nicotine is protective for Parkinson disease vulnerable dopamine neurons, but the underlying mechanism of this effect remains only partly characterized. To address this question, we established rat midbrain cultures maintained in experimental conditions that favor the selective and spontaneous loss of dopamine neurons. We report here that nicotine afforded neuroprotection to dopamine neurons (EC(50)=0.32 μM) but only in a situation where cytosolic Ca(2+) (Ca(2+)(cyt)) was slightly and chronically elevated above control levels by concurrent depolarizing treatments. By a pharmacological approach, we demonstrated that the rise in Ca(2+)(cyt) was necessary to sensitize dopamine neurons to the action of nicotine through a mechanism involving α-bungarotoxin-sensitive (presumably α7) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and secondarily T-type voltage-gated calcium channels. Confirming the role played by α7 nAChRs in this effect, nicotine had no protective action in midbrain cultures prepared from genetically engineered mice lacking this receptor subtype. Signaling studies revealed that Ca(2+)(cyt) elevations evoked by nicotine and concomitant depolarizing treatments served to activate a survival pathway involving the calcium effector protein calmodulin and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. Collectively, our data support the idea that the protective action of nicotine for dopamine neurons is activity-dependent and gated by Ca(2+)(cyt).

  13. 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. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. Brief optogenetic inhibition of dopamine neurons mimics endogenous negative reward prediction errors

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Chun Yun; Esber, Guillem R; Marrero-Garcia, Yasmin; Yau, Hau-Jie; Bonci, Antonello; Schoenbaum, Geoffrey

    2015-01-01

    Correlative studies have strongly linked phasic changes in dopamine activity with reward prediction error signaling. But causal evidence that these brief changes in firing actually serve as error signals to drive associative learning is more tenuous. While there is direct evidence that brief increases can substitute for positive prediction errors, there is no comparable evidence that similarly brief pauses can substitute for negative prediction errors. Lacking such evidence, the effect of increases in firing could reflect novelty or salience, variables also correlated with dopamine activity. Here we provide such evidence, showing in a modified Pavlovian over-expectation task that brief pauses in the firing of dopamine neurons in rat ventral tegmental area at the time of reward are sufficient to mimic the effects of endogenous negative prediction errors. These results support the proposal that brief changes in the firing of dopamine neurons serve as full-fledged bidirectional prediction error signals. PMID:26642092

  15. 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

    2009-05-05

    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.

  16. A model of dopamine regulation of glutamatergic synapse on medium size spiny neurons.

    PubMed

    Di Maio, Vito; Ventriglia, Francesco; Santillo, Silvia

    2016-01-01

    Spiny neurons of striatum receive glutamatergic synapses on dendritic spines on the neck of which project dopaminergic synapses. Dopamine modulates, by D1 type receptors, the glutamatergic synapses by inducing the phosphorylation of AMPA and NMDA receptors which produces an increased amplitude response. Herein we present a model where, in addition to phosphorylation, the direct modulation by dopamine of the spine resistance can cooperate in producing the observed effect on some of these synapses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Disrupting Glutamate Co-transmission Does Not Affect Acquisition of Conditioned Behavior Reinforced by Dopamine Neuron Activation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dong V; Viereckel, Thomas; Zell, Vivien; Konradsson-Geuken, Åsa; Broker, Carl J; Talishinsky, Aleksandr; Yoo, Ji Hoon; Galinato, Melissa H; Arvidsson, Emma; Kesner, Andrew J; Hnasko, Thomas S; Wallén-Mackenzie, Åsa; Ikemoto, Satoshi

    2017-03-14

    Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) were previously found to express vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2) and to co-transmit glutamate in the ventral striatum (VStr). This capacity may play an important role in reinforcement learning. Although it is known that activation of the VTA-VStr dopamine system readily reinforces behavior, little is known about the role of glutamate co-transmission in such reinforcement. By combining electrode recording and optogenetics, we found that stimulation of VTA dopamine neurons in vivo evoked fast excitatory responses in many VStr neurons of adult mice. Whereas conditional knockout of the gene encoding VGLUT2 in dopamine neurons largely eliminated fast excitatory responses, it had little effect on the acquisition of conditioned responses reinforced by dopamine neuron activation. Therefore, glutamate co-transmission appears dispensable for acquisition of conditioned responding reinforced by DA neuron activation.

  18. Lineweaver-Burk analysis for the blocking effects of mammalian dopamine receptor antagonists on dopamine-induced currents in Achatina giant neurones.

    PubMed

    Emaduddin, M; Takeuchi, H

    1996-10-01

    1. We had demonstrated (Emaduddin et al., 1995) the blocking effects of the three mammalian dopamine receptor antagonists, (+/-)-SKF83566 (mammalian dopamine D1-like receptor antagonist), (+)-UH232 (D2 and D3-like receptor antagonist) and (+/-)-sulpiride (D2-like receptor antagonist) on the dose (pressure duration)-response curves of dopamine in the three giant neurone types, LVMN (left visceral multiple spike neurone), d-RPeAN (dorsal-right pedal anterior neurone) and v-LCDN (ventral-left cerebral distinct neurone), of Achatina fulica Férussac under voltage clamp. In the present study, we analyzed these data by Lineweaver-Burk plot. 2. Dopamine-induced inward currents (Iin) of the two neurone types, LVMN and d-RPeAN, were blocked by (+/-)-SKF83566 and (+)-UH232 in partly noncompetitive and partly uncompetitive manners. (+/-)-Sulpiride had no effect on these currents. 3. In contrast, dopamine-induced outward current (Iout) of v-LCDN was inhibited competitively by (+/-)-sulpiride and noncompetitively by (+)-UH232. (+/-)-SKF83566 had no effect on this current. 4. Therefore, we consider that the pharmacological features of the dopamine receptors of Achatina neurones are not identical in detail to those of the mammalian dopamine receptors.

  19. The functioning neuronal transporter for dopamine: kinetic mechanisms and effects of amphetamines, cocaine and methylphenidate.

    PubMed

    Schenk, James O

    2002-01-01

    The dopamine transporter (DAT) is a transmembrane spanning protein that catalyzes the transport of dopamine across the neuronal membrane to concentrate the neurotransmitter inside the cell. Although the uptake of dopamine has been studied since the 1960s, more recent advances in knowledge of the protein itself and in making kinetically resolved measurements of its action have led to more insights into its mechanism and pharmacology. The literature of the kinetics of transporters and kinetic measurements of DAT activity is reviewed to provide an overview of the multisubstrate mechanism of DAT activity, its pharmacology with regard to amphetamine, cocaine and methylphenidate, and correlations of DAT activity with some behavioral outputs.

  20. Age-related gene expression changes in substantia nigra dopamine neurons of the rat.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    Ageing affects most, if not all, functional systems in the body. For example, the somatic motor nervous system, responsible for initiating and regulating motor output to skeletal musculature, is vulnerable to ageing. The nigrostriatal dopamine pathway is one component of this system, with deficits in dopamine signalling contributing to major motor dysfunction, as exemplified in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, while the dopamine deficit in PD is due to degeneration of substantia nigra (SN) dopamine (DA) neurons, it is unclear whether there is sufficient loss of SN DA neurons with ageing to explain observed motor impairments. Instead, evidence suggests that age-related loss of DA neuron function may be more important than frank cell loss. To further elucidate the mechanisms of functional decline, we have investigated age-related changes in gene expression specifically in laser microdissected SN DA neurons. There were significant age-related changes in the expression of genes associated with neurotrophic factor signalling and the regulation of tyrosine hydroxylase activity. Furthermore, reduced expression of the DA neuron-associated transcription factor, Nurr1, may contribute to these changes. Together, these results suggest that altered neurotrophic signalling and tyrosine hydroxylase activity may contribute to altered DA neuron signalling and motor nervous system regulation in ageing.

  1. TRPV1 on astrocytes rescues nigral dopamine neurons in Parkinson’s disease via CNTF

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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

  2. Alterations in striatal dopamine catabolism precede loss of substantia nigra neurons in a mouse model of Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis

    PubMed Central

    Weimer, Jill M.; Benedict, Jared W.; Elshatory, Yasser M.; Short, Douglas W.; Ramirez-Montealegre, Denia; Ryan, Deborah A.; Alexander, Noreen A.; Federoff, Howard J.; Cooper, Jonathan D.; Pearce, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Batten disease, or juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL), results from mutations in the CLN3 gene. This disorder presents clinically around the age of five years with visual deficits progressing to include seizures, cognitive impairment, motor deterioration, hallucinations, and premature death by the third to forth decade of life. The motor deficits include coordination and gait abnormalities, myoclonic jerks, inability to initiate movements, and spasticity. Previous work from our laboratory has identified an early reduction in catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), an enzyme responsible for the efficient degradation of dopamine. Alterations in the kinetics of dopamine metabolism could cause the accumulation of undegraded or unsequestered dopamine leading to the formation of toxic dopamine intermediates. We report an imbalance in the catabolism of dopamine in three month Cln3-/- mice persisting through nine months of age that may be causal to oxidative damage within the striatum at nine months of age. Combined with the previously reported inflammatory changes and loss of post-synaptic D1α receptors, this could facilitate cell loss in striatal projection regions and underlie a general locomotion deficit that becomes apparent at twelve months of age in Cln3-/- mice. This study provides evidence for early changes in the kinetics of COMT in the Cln3-/- mouse striatum, affecting the turnover of dopamine, likely leading to neuron loss and motor deficits. These data provide novel insights into the basis of motor deficits in JNCL and how alterations in dopamine catabolism may result in oxidative damage and localized neuronal loss in this disorder. PMID:17617387

  3. Bromocryptine prevents the decline in tuberoinfundibular neuronal release of dopamine after removal of chronic estrogen treatment

    SciTech Connect

    Gottschall, P.E.; Meites, J.

    1987-11-01

    Prolonged exposure to estradiol 17-..beta.. (E/sub 2/) in rats has been shown to decrease dopamine (DA) synthesis in and release from tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic (TIDA) neurons in Fischer 344 rats. The objective of the present study was to determine whether inhibition of the E/sub 2/-induced increase in anterior pituitary (AP) weight and prolactin (PRL) secretion by concomitant administration of the dopaminergic agonist, bromocryptine, could prevent the decrease in TIDA neuronal function produced by chronic E/sub 2/ administration. TIDA neuronal function was evaluated by in vitro superfusion and electrical stimulation of median eminence (ME) tissue after allowing for accumulation of (/sup 3/H) dopamine (DA). The effect of chronic E/sub 2/ and/or bromocryptine treatment on catecholamine content in tuberohypophyseal neurons in the neurointermediate lobe was also measured to determine whether increased pituitary size possibly damaged the tuberohypophyseal neurons.

  4. 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

  5. Intracellular Methamphetamine Prevents the Dopamine-induced Enhancement of Neuronal Firing*

    PubMed Central

    Saha, Kaustuv; Sambo, Danielle; Richardson, Ben D.; Lin, Landon M.; Butler, Brittany; Villarroel, Laura; Khoshbouei, Habibeh

    2014-01-01

    The dysregulation of the dopaminergic system is implicated in multiple neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders such as Parkinson disease and drug addiction. The primary target of psychostimulants such as amphetamine and methamphetamine is the dopamine transporter (DAT), the major regulator of extracellular dopamine levels in the brain. However, the behavioral and neurophysiological correlates of methamphetamine and amphetamine administration are unique from one another, thereby suggesting these two compounds impact dopaminergic neurotransmission differentially. We further examined the unique mechanisms by which amphetamine and methamphetamine regulate DAT function and dopamine neurotransmission; in the present study we examined the impact of extracellular and intracellular amphetamine and methamphetamine on the spontaneous firing of cultured midbrain dopaminergic neurons and isolated DAT-mediated current. In dopaminergic neurons the spontaneous firing rate was enhanced by extracellular application of amphetamine > dopamine > methamphetamine and was DAT-dependent. Amphetamine > methamphetamine similarly enhanced DAT-mediated inward current, which was sensitive to isosmotic substitution of Na+ or Cl− ion. Although isosmotic substitution of extracellular Na+ ions blocked amphetamine and methamphetamine-induced DAT-mediated inward current similarly, the removal of extracellular Cl− ions preferentially blocked amphetamine-induced inward current. The intracellular application of methamphetamine, but not amphetamine, prevented the dopamine-induced increase in the spontaneous firing of dopaminergic neurons and the corresponding DAT-mediated inward current. The results reveal a new mechanism for methamphetamine-induced dysregulation of dopaminergic neurons. PMID:24962577

  6. Intracellular methamphetamine prevents the dopamine-induced enhancement of neuronal firing.

    PubMed

    Saha, Kaustuv; Sambo, Danielle; Richardson, Ben D; Lin, Landon M; Butler, Brittany; Villarroel, Laura; Khoshbouei, Habibeh

    2014-08-08

    The dysregulation of the dopaminergic system is implicated in multiple neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders such as Parkinson disease and drug addiction. The primary target of psychostimulants such as amphetamine and methamphetamine is the dopamine transporter (DAT), the major regulator of extracellular dopamine levels in the brain. However, the behavioral and neurophysiological correlates of methamphetamine and amphetamine administration are unique from one another, thereby suggesting these two compounds impact dopaminergic neurotransmission differentially. We further examined the unique mechanisms by which amphetamine and methamphetamine regulate DAT function and dopamine neurotransmission; in the present study we examined the impact of extracellular and intracellular amphetamine and methamphetamine on the spontaneous firing of cultured midbrain dopaminergic neurons and isolated DAT-mediated current. In dopaminergic neurons the spontaneous firing rate was enhanced by extracellular application of amphetamine > dopamine > methamphetamine and was DAT-dependent. Amphetamine > methamphetamine similarly enhanced DAT-mediated inward current, which was sensitive to isosmotic substitution of Na(+) or Cl(-) ion. Although isosmotic substitution of extracellular Na(+) ions blocked amphetamine and methamphetamine-induced DAT-mediated inward current similarly, the removal of extracellular Cl(-) ions preferentially blocked amphetamine-induced inward current. The intracellular application of methamphetamine, but not amphetamine, prevented the dopamine-induced increase in the spontaneous firing of dopaminergic neurons and the corresponding DAT-mediated inward current. The results reveal a new mechanism for methamphetamine-induced dysregulation of dopaminergic neurons.

  7. A paradoxical regulation of the dopamine D3 receptor expression suggests the involvement of an anterograde factor from dopamine neurons.

    PubMed Central

    Lévesque, D; Martres, M P; Diaz, J; Griffon, N; Lammers, C H; Sokoloff, P; Schwartz, J C

    1995-01-01

    The effects of interruption of dopaminergic transmission or sustained blockade of dopamine receptors by neuroleptics on the dopamine D3 receptor in the shell of the nucleus accumbens were investigated in rats. In this brain area the D3 receptor is abundant and may mediate antipsychotic drug effects. The D3 receptor density and mRNA abundance were evaluated with 7-[3H]hydroxy-N,N-di-n-propyl-2-aminotetralin and by quantitative PCR or image analysis of in situ hybridization signals, respectively. Unilateral dopamine neuron degeneration by 6-hydroxydopamine or sections triggered, after a few days, a marked decrease (up to 50%) in D3 receptor binding and mRNA in the nucleus accumbens. In contrast, a 2-week treatment with the neuroleptic haloperidol (20 mg/kg) had no effect on D3 receptor density and mRNA but enhanced D2 receptor density and mRNA level by > 50%. In addition, tolerance to the haloperidol-induced change of neurotensin mRNA mediated by the D2 receptor developed, but there was no tolerance to the opposite change mediated by the D3 receptor. Reserpine, a monoamine-depleting drug with antipsychotic activity, did not modify D3 receptor mRNA. These observations reinforce the idea that the D3 receptor may be an important target for neuroleptics whose antipsychotic actions, but not extrapyramidal motor actions, do not display tolerance. The D3 receptor mRNA level was also decreased by a unilateral injection in dopamine cell body areas of colchicine, a drug blocking the anterograde axonal transport, or by baclofen, a type A gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor agonist reducing dopamine neuron activity, but not by sustained blockade of D1-like and D2-like, neurotensin, or cholecystokinin receptors. We therefore propose that an anterograde factor present in mesolimbic dopaminergic neurons, but distinct from dopamine and known peptide cotransmitters, plays a positive role on transcription of the D3 receptor gene. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:7878047

  8. Dopamine neurons from transgenic mice with a knockout of the p53 gene resist MPTP neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Trimmer, P A; Smith, T S; Jung, A B; Bennett, J P

    1996-09-01

    We have examined MPTP toxicity to dopamine neurons of mice homozygous for a transgenic knockout of the p53 growth control gene (p53-/-). MPTP at a total dose of 96 mg/kg administered in four doses over two days produced a non-homogeneous loss of striatal dopamine transport sites and quantitatively reduced 3H-mazindol binding to similar degrees in p53-/- and wild type controls 2 and 3 weeks after starting MPTP. Nigral DA neurons stained immunohistochemically for tyrosine hydroxylase were counted using both manual and automated methods and found to be reduced 29-34% in wild type controls but were not reduced in p53-/-. Mean DA neuronal surface areas were reduced 63-68% by MPTP in controls and 35-50% in p53-/-. We conclude that p53 protein appears necessary for complete expression of MPTP neurotoxicity to dopamine neurons. Our findings suggest that the p53 gene and other growth control genes may regulate dopamine neuronal death in PD.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Midbrain dopamine neurons sustain inhibitory transmission using plasma membrane uptake of GABA, not synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Tritsch, Nicolas X; Oh, Won-Jong; Gu, Chenghua; Sabatini, Bernardo L

    2014-01-01

    Synaptic transmission between midbrain dopamine neurons and target neurons in the striatum is essential for the selection and reinforcement of movements. Recent evidence indicates that nigrostriatal dopamine neurons inhibit striatal projection neurons by releasing a neurotransmitter that activates GABAA receptors. Here, we demonstrate that this phenomenon extends to mesolimbic afferents, and confirm that the released neurotransmitter is GABA. However, the GABA synthetic enzymes GAD65 and GAD67 are not detected in midbrain dopamine neurons. Instead, these cells express the membrane GABA transporters mGAT1 (Slc6a1) and mGAT4 (Slc6a11) and inhibition of these transporters prevents GABA co-release. These findings therefore indicate that GABA co-release is a general feature of midbrain dopaminergic neurons that relies on GABA uptake from the extracellular milieu as opposed to de novo synthesis. This atypical mechanism may confer dopaminergic neurons the flexibility to differentially control GABAergic transmission in a target-dependent manner across their extensive axonal arbors. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01936.001 PMID:24843012

  12. Lack of the DNA repair enzyme OGG1 sensitizes dopamine neurons to manganese toxicity during development.

    PubMed

    Cardozo-Pelaez, Fernando; Cox, David P; Bolin, Celeste

    2005-01-01

    Onset of Parkinson's disease (PD) and Parkinson-like syndromes has been associated with exposure to diverse environmental stimuli. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that exposure to elevated levels of manganese produces neuropathological changes localized to the basal ganglia, including neuronal loss and depletions in striatal dopamine content. However, understanding the mechanisms associated with manganese neurotoxicity has been hampered by the lack of a good rodent model. Elevated levels of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (oxo8dG) have been found in brain areas affected in PD. Whether increased DNA damage is responsible for neuronal degeneration or is a mere epiphenomena of neuronal loss remains to be elucidated. Thus, by using mice deficient in the ability to remove oxo8dG we aimed to determine if dysregulation of DNA repair coupled to manganese exposure would be detrimental to dopaminergic neurons. Wild-type and OGG1 knockout mice were exposed to manganese from conception to postnatal day 30; in both groups, exposure to manganese led to alterations in the neurochemistry of the nigrostriatal system. After exposure, dopamine levels were elevated in the caudate of wild-type mice. Dopamine was reduced in the caudate of OGG1 knockout mice, a loss that was paralleled by an increase in the dopamine index of turnover. In addition, the reduction of dopamine in caudate putamen correlated with the accumulation of oxo8dG in midbrain. We conclude that OGG1 function is essential in maintaining neuronal stability during development and identify DNA damage as a common pathway in neuronal loss after a toxicological challenge.

  13. Differential effects of dopamine D2 and GABAA receptor antagonists on dopamine neurons between the anterior and posterior ventral tegmental area of female Wistar rats

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Zheng-Ming; Liu, Wen; Engleman, Eric A.; Rodd, Zachary A.; McBride, William J.

    2010-01-01

    Previous findings indicated differences in neuronal circuitries mediating drug reinforcement between the anterior and posterior ventral tegmental area (VTA). The objective of the present study was to examine the effects of the dopamine D2 antagonist sulpiride and the GABAA antagonist picrotoxin administered in the anterior and posterior VTA on the activity of mesoaccumbal dopamine neurons in female Wistar rats. Sulpiride and picrotoxin were administered in the anterior and posterior VTA. Extracellular dopamine levels were measured in sub-regions of the VTA and nucleus accumbens (ACB). Reverse-microdialysis of sulpiride (100 µM) into the posterior VTA increased extracellular dopamine levels locally (80% above baseline) and in the ACB shell and core (70% above baseline), whereas reverse-microdialysis into the anterior VTA produced a much smaller effect locally (30% above baseline) and in the ACB shell and core. In contrast, microinjection of picrotoxin (80 and 160 µM) into the anterior, but not posterior VTA, increased dopamine release in the ACB shell. The results suggest that dopamine neurons in the posterior VTA, compared to the anterior VTA, may be under greater D2 receptor-mediated tonic inhibition, whereas dopamine neurons in the anterior VTA, compared to the posterior VTA, may be under greater GABAA receptor-mediated tonic inhibition. PMID:19480073

  14. Sexual dimorphism of the dopamine-beta-hydroxylase-immunoreactive neurons in the rat locus ceruleus.

    PubMed

    Luque, J M; de Blas, M R; Segovia, S; Guillamón, A

    1992-06-19

    Sex differences in the noradrenaline synthesizing neurons of the locus ceruleus (LC) in rat brain were investigated immunocytochemically using an antibody to dopamine-beta-hydroxylase. Female adult rats contained a greater structural volume and average somatic area in the anterior intermediate region of the nucleus compared with males. Whether this difference is related to the endocrine status of the animals, and consequently a functionally distinct population of neurons, is yet to be determined.

  15. 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

    2016-06-23

    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.

  16. 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

  17. Dopamine antagonists reduce spontaneous electrical activity in cultured mammalian neurons from ventral mesencephalon.

    PubMed

    Heyer, E J

    1986-09-24

    Mammalian neurons from ventral mesencephalon (VM) were grown in primary dissociated cell (PDC) culture. These neurons are predominantly non-dopaminergic. Many of these non-dopaminergic neurons have dopamine agonist and antagonist binding sites. Intracellular recordings were obtained from these neurons. When bathed in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) solution they generated action potentials spontaneously. However, in the presence of haloperidol dissolved in PBS solution, the percentage of neurons which generated action potentials spontaneously was reduced in a dose-dependent manner (1-10 microM). This response was also obtained with (+) butaclamol (1 microM) but not with (-) butaclamol (1 microM). This neuroleptic inhibition of spontaneously generated action potentials was specific for neurons in PDC cultures of VM since neurons in PDC cultures of spinal cord did not demonstrate this phenomenon.

  18. Impact of methamphetamine on dopamine neurons in primates is dependent on age: implications for development of Parkinson's disease

    PubMed Central

    Morrow, Bret A.; Roth, Robert H.; Redmond, D. Eugene; Elsworth, John D.

    2011-01-01

    Methamphetamine is a CNS stimulant with limited therapeutic indications, but is widely abused. Short-term exposure to higher doses, or long-term exposure to lower doses, of methamphetamine induces lasting damage to nigrostriatal dopamine neurons in man and animals. Strong evidence indicates that the mechanism for this detrimental effect on dopamine neurons involves oxidative stress exerted by reactive oxygen species. This study investigates the relative susceptibility of dopamine neurons in mid-gestation, young, and adult (not aged) monkeys to 4 treatments with methamphetamine over 2 days. Primate dopamine neurons undergo natural cell death at mid-gestation, and we hypothesized that during this event they are particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress. The results indicated that at mid-gestation and in adults, dopamine neurons were susceptible to methamphetamine-induced damage, as indicated by loss of striatal TH immunoreactivity and dopamine concentration. However, dopamine neurons in young animals appeared totally resistant to the treatment, despite this group having higher brain levels of methamphetamine 3 hours after administration than the adults. As a possible explanation for the protection, striatal GDNF levels were elevated in young animals 1-week after treatment, but not in adults following methamphetamine treatment. Implications of these primate studies are: 1) the susceptibility of dopamine neurons at mid-gestation to methamphetamine warns against the risk of exposing pregnant women to the drug or oxidative stressors, and supports the hypothesis of Parkinson's disease being associated with oxidative stress during development, 2) elucidation of the mechanism of resistance of dopamine neurons in the young animals to methamphetamine-induced oxidative stress may provide targets for slowing or preventing age- or disease-related loss of adult nigrostriatal DA neurons, and 3) the increased striatal production of GDNF in young animals, but not in adults, in

  19. 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

  20. Signaling Pathways that Medicine Neurotoxin-Induced Death of Dopamine Neurons

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-01

    4-phenyl-1,2,3,tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) or the pesticide rotenone . These neurotoxins inhibit complex I of the mitochondrial respiratory chain...neurodegeneration, apoptosis, dopamine neurons, MPTP, rotenone , intrinsic death pathway 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17. LIMITATION OF...prevent death. Our overall working hypothesis is that the Parkinsonian neurotoxins, MPP+ and rotenone , share a common mechanism of action to

  1. Conditional Knockout of NMDA Receptors in Dopamine Neurons Prevents Nicotine-Conditioned Place Preference

    PubMed Central

    Phillip Wang, Lei; Li, Fei; Shen, Xiaoming; Tsien, Joe Z.

    2010-01-01

    Nicotine from smoking tobacco produces one of the most common forms of addictive behavior and has major societal and health consequences. It is known that nicotine triggers tobacco addiction by activating nicotine acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the midbrain dopaminergic reward system, primarily via the ventral tegmental area. Heterogeneity of cell populations in the region has made it difficult for pharmacology-based analyses to precisely assess the functional significance of glutamatergic inputs to dopamine neurons in nicotine addiction. By generating dopamine neuron-specific NR1 knockout mice using cre/loxP-mediated method, we demonstrate that genetic inactivation of the NMDA receptors in ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons selectively prevents nicotine-conditioned place preference. Interestingly, the mutant mice exhibit normal performances in the conditioned place aversion induced by aversive air puffs. Therefore, this selective effect on addictive drug-induced reinforcement behavior suggests that NMDA receptors in the dopamine neurons are critical for the development of nicotine addiction. PMID:20062537

  2. Conditional knockout of NMDA receptors in dopamine neurons prevents nicotine-conditioned place preference.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lei Phillip; Li, Fei; Shen, Xiaoming; Tsien, Joe Z

    2010-01-07

    Nicotine from smoking tobacco produces one of the most common forms of addictive behavior and has major societal and health consequences. It is known that nicotine triggers tobacco addiction by activating nicotine acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the midbrain dopaminergic reward system, primarily via the ventral tegmental area. Heterogeneity of cell populations in the region has made it difficult for pharmacology-based analyses to precisely assess the functional significance of glutamatergic inputs to dopamine neurons in nicotine addiction. By generating dopamine neuron-specific NR1 knockout mice using cre/loxP-mediated method, we demonstrate that genetic inactivation of the NMDA receptors in ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons selectively prevents nicotine-conditioned place preference. Interestingly, the mutant mice exhibit normal performances in the conditioned place aversion induced by aversive air puffs. Therefore, this selective effect on addictive drug-induced reinforcement behavior suggests that NMDA receptors in the dopamine neurons are critical for the development of nicotine addiction.

  3. Parkin is protective for substantia nigra dopamine neurons in a tau gene transfer neurodegeneration model.

    PubMed

    Klein, Ronald L; Dayton, Robert D; Henderson, Karen M; Petrucelli, Leonard

    2006-06-19

    Parkin is a ubiquitin ligase involved in the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Elevating parkin expression in cells reduces markers of oxidative stress while blocking parkin expression increases oxidative stress. In parkin gene knock down mouse and fly models, mitochondria function is deficient. Parkin is neuroprotective against a variety of toxic insults, while it remains unclear which of the above properties of parkin may mediate the protective actions. One of the models for which parkin is protective is overexpression of alpha-synuclein, a protein that self-aggregates in Parkinson disease. The microtubule-associated protein tau is another protein that self-aggregates in specific neurodegenerative diseases that also involve loss of dopamine neurons such as frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17, progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration. We recently developed a tau-induced dopaminergic degeneration model in rats using adeno-associated virus vectors. In this study, we successfully targeted either a mixed tau/parkin vector or mixed tau/control vector to the rat substantia nigra. While there was significant loss of dopamine neurons in the tau/control group relative to uninjected substantia nigra, there was no cell loss in the tau/parkin group. We found no difference in total tau levels between tau/control and tau/parkin groups. Parkin therefore protects dopamine neurons against tau as it does against alpha-synuclein, which further supports parkin as a therapeutic target for diseases involving loss of dopamine neurons.

  4. Glutamatergic signaling by mesolimbic dopamine neurons in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Tecuapetla, Fatuel; Patel, Jyoti C; Xenias, Harry; English, Daniel; Tadros, Ibrahim; Shah, Fulva; Berlin, Joshua; Deisseroth, Karl; Rice, Margaret E; Tepper, James M; Koos, Tibor

    2010-05-19

    Recent evidence suggests the intriguing possibility that midbrain dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons may use fast glutamatergic transmission to communicate with their postsynaptic targets. Because of technical limitations, direct demonstration of the existence of this signaling mechanism has been limited to experiments using cell culture preparations that often alter neuronal function including neurotransmitter phenotype. Consequently, it remains uncertain whether glutamatergic signaling between DAergic neurons and their postsynaptic targets exists under physiological conditions. Here, using an optogenetic approach, we provide the first conclusive demonstration that mesolimbic DAergic neurons in mice release glutamate and elicit excitatory postsynaptic responses in projection neurons of the nucleus accumbens. In addition, we describe the properties of the postsynaptic glutamatergic responses of these neurons during experimentally evoked burst firing of DAergic axons that reproduce the reward-related phasic population activity of the mesolimbic projection. These observations indicate that, in addition to DAergic mechanisms, mesolimbic reward signaling may involve glutamatergic transmission.

  5. Glutamatergic Signaling by Mesolimbic Dopamine Neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Tecuapetla, Fatuel; Patel, Jyoti C.; Xenias, Harry; English, Daniel; Tadros, Ibrahim; Shah, Fulva; Berlin, Joshua; Deisseroth, Karl; Rice, Margaret E.; Tepper, James M.

    2010-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests the intriguing possibility that midbrain dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons may use fast glutamatergic transmission to communicate with their postsynaptic targets. Because of technical limitations, direct demonstration of the existence of this signaling mechanism has been limited to experiments using cell culture preparations that often alter neuronal function including neurotransmitter phenotype. Consequently, it remains uncertain whether glutamatergic signaling between DAergic neurons and their postsynaptic targets exists under physiological conditions. Here, using an optogenetic approach, we provide the first conclusive demonstration that mesolimbic DAergic neurons in mice release glutamate and elicit excitatory postsynaptic responses in projection neurons of the nucleus accumbens. In addition, we describe the properties of the postsynaptic glutamatergic responses of these neurons during experimentally evoked burst firing of DAergic axons that reproduce the reward-related phasic population activity of the mesolimbic projection. These observations indicate that, in addition to DAergic mechanisms, mesolimbic reward signaling may involve glutamatergic transmission. PMID:20484653

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    Piccart, Elisabeth; Courtney, Nicholas A; Branch, Sarah Y; Ford, Christopher P; Beckstead, Michael J

    2015-08-05

    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. 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 discovered that the modulatory

  8. Imaging analysis of clock neurons: light buffers the wake-promoting effect of dopamine

    PubMed Central

    Shang, Yuhua; Haynes, Paula; Pírez, Nicolás; Harrington, Kyle I.; Guo, Fang; Pollack, Jordan; Hong, Pengyu; Griffith, Leslie C.; Rosbash, Michael

    2012-01-01

    How animals maintain proper amounts of sleep yet still be flexible to changes in the environmental conditions remains unknown. Here we showed that environmental light suppresses the wake-promoting effects of dopamine in fly brains. A subset of clock neurons, the 10 large lateral-ventral neurons (l-LNvs), are wake-promoting and respond to dopamine, octopamine as well as light. Behavioral and imaging analyses suggested that dopamine is a stronger arousal signal than octopamine. Surprisingly, light exposure not only suppressed the l-LNv responses but also synchronized responses of neighboring l-LNvs. This regulation occured by distinct mechanisms: light-mediated suppression of octopamine responses is regulated by the circadian clock, whereas light regulation of dopamine responses occurs by upregulation of inhibitory dopamine receptors. Plasticity therefore alters the relative importance of diverse cues based on the environmental mix of stimuli. The regulatory mechanisms described here may contribute to the control of sleep stability while still allowing behavioral flexibility. PMID:21685918

  9. Dopamine-deprived striatal GABAergic interneurons burst and generate repetitive gigantic IPSCs in medium spiny neurons.

    PubMed

    Dehorter, Nathalie; Guigoni, Celine; Lopez, Catherine; Hirsch, June; Eusebio, Alexandre; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Hammond, Constance

    2009-06-17

    Striatal GABAergic microcircuits modulate cortical responses and movement execution in part by controlling the activity of medium spiny neurons (MSNs). How this is altered by chronic dopamine depletion, such as in Parkinson's disease, is not presently understood. We now report that, in dopamine-depleted slices of the striatum, MSNs generate giant spontaneous postsynaptic GABAergic currents (single or in bursts at 60 Hz) interspersed with silent episodes, rather than the continuous, low-frequency GABAergic drive (5 Hz) observed in control MSNs. This shift was observed in one-half of the MSN population, including both "D(1)-negative" and "D(1)-positive" MSNs. Single GABA and NMDA channel recordings revealed that the resting membrane potential and reversal potential of GABA were similar in control and dopamine-depleted MSNs, and depolarizing, but not excitatory, actions of GABA were observed. Glutamatergic and cholinergic antagonists did not block the GABAergic oscillations, suggesting that they were generated by GABAergic neurons. In support of this, cell-attached recordings revealed that a subpopulation of intrastriatal GABAergic interneurons generated bursts of spikes in dopamine-deprived conditions. This subpopulation included low-threshold spike interneurons but not fast-spiking interneurons, cholinergic interneurons, or MSNs. Therefore, a population of local GABAergic interneurons shifts from tonic to oscillatory mode when dopamine deprived and gives rise to spontaneous repetitive giant GABAergic currents in one-half the MSNs. We suggest that this may in turn alter integration of cortical signals by MSNs.

  10. Elevated mitochondria-coupled NAD(P)H in endoplasmic reticulum of dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Tucker, Kristal R.; Cavolo, Samantha L.; Levitan, Edwin S.

    2016-01-01

    Pyridine nucleotides are redox coenzymes that are critical in bioenergetics, metabolism, and neurodegeneration. Here we use brain slice multiphoton microscopy to show that substantia nigra dopamine neurons, which are sensitive to stress in mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), display elevated combined NADH and NADPH (i.e., NAD(P)H) autofluorescence. Despite limited mitochondrial mass, organellar NAD(P)H is extensive because much of the signal is derived from the ER. Remarkably, even though pyridine nucleotides cannot cross mitochondrial and ER membranes, inhibiting mitochondrial function with an uncoupler or interrupting the electron transport chain with cyanide (CN−) alters ER NAD(P)H. The ER CN− response can occur without a change in nuclear NAD(P)H, raising the possibility of redox shuttling via the cytoplasm locally between neuronal mitochondria and the ER. We propose that coregulation of NAD(P)H in dopamine neuron mitochondria and ER coordinates cell redox stress signaling by the two organelles. PMID:27582392

  11. Sequential Loss of LC Noradrenergic and Dopaminergic Neurons Results in a Correlation of Dopaminergic Neuronal Number to Striatal Dopamine Concentration.

    PubMed

    Szot, Patricia; Franklin, Allyn; Sikkema, Carl; Wilkinson, Charles W; Raskind, Murray A

    2012-01-01

    Noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus (LC) are significantly reduced in Parkinson's disease (PD) and the LC exhibits neuropathological changes early in the disease process. It has been suggested that a loss of LC neurons can enhance the susceptibility of dopaminergic neurons to damage. To determine if LC noradrenergic innervation protects dopaminergic neurons from damage, the dopaminergic neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) was administered to adult male C57Bl/6 mice 3 days after bilateral LC administration of 6-hydroxydopamine (6OHDA), a time when there is a significant reduction in LC neuronal number and innervation to forebrain regions. To assess if LC loss can affect dopaminergic loss four groups of animals were studied: control, 6OHDA, MPTP, and 6OHDA + MPTP; animals sacrificed 3 weeks after MPTP administration. The number of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), and noradrenergic neurons in the LC were determined. Catecholamine levels in striatum were measured by high-pressure liquid chromatography. The loss of LC neurons did not affect the number of dopaminergic neurons in the SN and VTA compared to control; however, LC 6OHDA significantly reduced striatal dopamine (DA; 29% reduced) but not norepinephrine (NE) concentration. MPTP significantly reduced SN and VTA neuronal number and DA concentration in the striatum compared to control; however, there was not a correlation of striatal DA concentration with SN or VTA neuronal number. Administration of 6OHDA prior to MPTP did not enhance MPTP-induced damage despite an effect of LC loss on striatal DA concentration. However, the loss of LC neurons before MPTP resulted now in a correlation between SN and VTA neuronal number to striatal DA concentration. These results demonstrate that the loss of either LC or DA neurons can affect the function of each others systems, indicating the importance of both the noradrenergic and

  12. Sequential Loss of LC Noradrenergic and Dopaminergic Neurons Results in a Correlation of Dopaminergic Neuronal Number to Striatal Dopamine Concentration

    PubMed Central

    Szot, Patricia; Franklin, Allyn; Sikkema, Carl; Wilkinson, Charles W.; Raskind, Murray A.

    2012-01-01

    Noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus (LC) are significantly reduced in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and the LC exhibits neuropathological changes early in the disease process. It has been suggested that a loss of LC neurons can enhance the susceptibility of dopaminergic neurons to damage. To determine if LC noradrenergic innervation protects dopaminergic neurons from damage, the dopaminergic neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) was administered to adult male C57Bl/6 mice 3 days after bilateral LC administration of 6-hydroxydopamine (6OHDA), a time when there is a significant reduction in LC neuronal number and innervation to forebrain regions. To assess if LC loss can affect dopaminergic loss four groups of animals were studied: control, 6OHDA, MPTP, and 6OHDA + MPTP; animals sacrificed 3 weeks after MPTP administration. The number of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), and noradrenergic neurons in the LC were determined. Catecholamine levels in striatum were measured by high-pressure liquid chromatography. The loss of LC neurons did not affect the number of dopaminergic neurons in the SN and VTA compared to control; however, LC 6OHDA significantly reduced striatal dopamine (DA; 29% reduced) but not norepinephrine (NE) concentration. MPTP significantly reduced SN and VTA neuronal number and DA concentration in the striatum compared to control; however, there was not a correlation of striatal DA concentration with SN or VTA neuronal number. Administration of 6OHDA prior to MPTP did not enhance MPTP-induced damage despite an effect of LC loss on striatal DA concentration. However, the loss of LC neurons before MPTP resulted now in a correlation between SN and VTA neuronal number to striatal DA concentration. These results demonstrate that the loss of either LC or DA neurons can affect the function of each others systems, indicating the importance of both the noradrenergic and

  13. GIRK2 expression in dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Reyes, Stefanie; Fu, Yuhong; Double, Kay; Thompson, Lachlan; Kirik, Deniz; Paxinos, George; Halliday, Glenda M

    2012-08-15

    G-protein-regulated inward-rectifier potassium channel 2 (GIRK2) is reported to be expressed only within certain dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra (SN), although very limited data are available in humans. We examined the localization of GIRK2 in the SN and adjacent ventral tegmental area (VTA) of humans and mice by using either neuromelanin pigment or immunolabeling with tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) or calbindin. GIRK2 immunoreactivity was found in nearly every human pigmented neuron or mouse TH-immunoreactive neuron in both the SN and VTA, although considerable variability in the intensity of GIRK2 staining was observed. The relative intensity of GIRK2 immunoreactivity in TH-immunoreactive neurons was determined; in both species nearly all SN TH-immunoreactive neurons had strong GIRK2 immunoreactivity compared with only 50-60% of VTA neurons. Most paranigral VTA neurons also contained calbindin immunoreactivity, and approximately 25% of these and nearby VTA neurons also had strong GIRK2 immunoreactivity. These data show that high amounts of GIRK2 protein are found in most SN neurons as well as in a proportion of nearby VTA neurons. The single previous human study may have been compromised by the fixation method used and the postmortem delay of their controls, whereas other studies suggesting that GIRK2 is located only in limited neuronal groups within the SN have erroneously included VTA regions as part of the SN. In particular, the dorsal layer of dopamine neurons directly underneath the red nucleus is considered a VTA region in humans but is commonly considered the dorsal tier of the SN in laboratory species.

  14. Ethanol facilitates glutamatergic transmission to dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Cheng; Shao, Xuesi Max; Olive, M Foster; Griffin, William C; Li, Ke-Yong; Krnjević, Kresimir; Zhou, Chunyi; Ye, Jiang-Hong

    2009-01-01

    The cellular mechanisms underlying alcohol addiction are poorly understood. In several brain areas, ethanol depresses glutamatergic excitatory transmission, but how it affects excitatory synapses on dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a crucial site for the development of drug addiction, is not known. We report here that in midbrain slices from rats, clinically relevant concentrations of ethanol (10-80 mM) increase the amplitude of evoked EPSCs and reduce their paired-pulse ratio in dopamine neurons in the VTA. The EPSCs were mediated by glutamate alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA) receptors. In addition, ethanol increases the frequency but not the amplitude of spontaneous EPSCs. Furthermore, ethanol increases extracellular glutamate levels in the VTA of midbrain slices. The effects of ethanol are mimicked by SKF 38393, a dopamine D(1) receptor agonist, and by GBR 12935, a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, and they are blocked by SKF 83566, a D(1) antagonist, or by reserpine, which depletes dopamine stores. The enhancement of sEPSC frequency reaches a peak with 40 mM ethanol and declines with concentrations >or=80 mM ethanol, which is quite likely a result of D(2) receptor activation as raclopride, a D(2) receptor blocker, significantly enhanced 80 mM ethanol-induced enhancement of sEPSCs. Finally, 6, 7-dinitroquinoxaline-2, 3-dione (DNQX), an AMPA receptor antagonist, attenuates ethanol-induced excitation of VTA DA neurons. We therefore conclude that, acting via presynaptic D(1) receptors, ethanol at low concentrations increases glutamate release in the VTA, thus raising somatodendritic dopamine release, which further activates the presynaptic D(1) receptors. Enhancement of this positive feedback loop may significantly contribute to the development of alcohol addiction.

  15. Ethanol Facilitates Glutamatergic Transmission to Dopamine Neurons in the Ventral Tegmental Area

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Cheng; Shao, Xuesi Max; Olive, M Foster; Griffin, William C; Li, Ke-Yong; Krnjević, Kresimir; Zhou, Chunyi; Ye, Jiang-Hong

    2009-01-01

    The cellular mechanisms underlying alcohol addiction are poorly understood. In several brain areas, ethanol depresses glutamatergic excitatory transmission, but how it affects excitatory synapses on dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a crucial site for the development of drug addiction, is not known. We report here that in midbrain slices from rats, clinically relevant concentrations of ethanol (10–80 mM) increase the amplitude of evoked EPSCs and reduce their paired-pulse ratio in dopamine neurons in the VTA. The EPSCs were mediated by glutamate α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA) receptors. In addition, ethanol increases the frequency but not the amplitude of spontaneous EPSCs. Furthermore, ethanol increases extracellular glutamate levels in the VTA of midbrain slices. The effects of ethanol are mimicked by SKF 38393, a dopamine D1 receptor agonist, and by GBR 12935, a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, and they are blocked by SKF 83566, a D1 antagonist, or by reserpine, which depletes dopamine stores. The enhancement of sEPSC frequency reaches a peak with 40mM ethanol and declines with concentrations ≥80mM ethanol, which is quite likely a result of D2 receptor activation as raclopride, a D2 receptor blocker, significantly enhanced 80mM ethanol-induced enhancement of sEPSCs. Finally, 6, 7-dinitroquinoxaline-2, 3-dione (DNQX), an AMPA receptor antagonist, attenuates ethanol-induced excitation of VTA DA neurons. We therefore conclude that, acting via presynaptic D1 receptors, ethanol at low concentrations increases glutamate release in the VTA, thus raising somatodendritic dopamine release, which further activates the presynaptic D1 receptors. Enhancement of this positive feedback loop may significantly contribute to the development of alcohol addiction. PMID:18596684

  16. Dopamine receptor 1 neurons in the dorsal striatum regulate food anticipatory circadian activity rhythms in mice

    PubMed Central

    Gallardo, Christian M; Darvas, Martin; Oviatt, Mia; Chang, Chris H; Michalik, Mateusz; Huddy, Timothy F; Meyer, Emily E; Shuster, Scott A; Aguayo, Antonio; Hill, Elizabeth M; Kiani, Karun; Ikpeazu, Jonathan; Martinez, Johan S; Purpura, Mari; Smit, Andrea N; Patton, Danica F; Mistlberger, Ralph E; Palmiter, Richard D; Steele, Andrew D

    2014-01-01

    Daily rhythms of food anticipatory activity (FAA) are regulated independently of the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which mediates entrainment of rhythms to light, but the neural circuits that establish FAA remain elusive. In this study, we show that mice lacking the dopamine D1 receptor (D1R KO mice) manifest greatly reduced FAA, whereas mice lacking the dopamine D2 receptor have normal FAA. To determine where dopamine exerts its effect, we limited expression of dopamine signaling to the dorsal striatum of dopamine-deficient mice; these mice developed FAA. Within the dorsal striatum, the daily rhythm of clock gene period2 expression was markedly suppressed in D1R KO mice. Pharmacological activation of D1R at the same time daily was sufficient to establish anticipatory activity in wild-type mice. These results demonstrate that dopamine signaling to D1R-expressing neurons in the dorsal striatum plays an important role in manifestation of FAA, possibly by synchronizing circadian oscillators that modulate motivational processes and behavioral output. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03781.001 PMID:25217530

  17. Dopamine neurones form a discrete plexus with melanopsin cells in normal and degenerating retina.

    PubMed

    Vugler, Anthony A; Redgrave, Peter; Semo, Ma'ayan; Lawrence, Jean; Greenwood, John; Coffey, Peter J

    2007-05-01

    In addition to rods and cones of the outer retina, a third class of photoreceptive cell has recently been described in the inner retina of mammals. These intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) have been shown to relay luminance information to the mammalian brain. In addition to their intrinsic photosensitivity, the function of ipRGCs may also be modulated by signals from within the retina itself. Such signals may emanate from classical photoreceptors in the outer retina or from the circadian activity of adjacent inner retinal neurones. Prime candidates for the latter are the retinal dopamine neurones which ramify at the border of the inner plexiform and inner nuclear layers. In order to investigate the nature of any interaction between dopamine and ipRGC populations in normal retina and to assess the impact of outer retinal degeneration on this interrelationship, we examined the retinae of normal and RCS dystrophic rats. We report a direct interaction between the dendrites of ipRGCs and dopaminergic neurones which is conserved across species. Triple immunolabelling using synaptic markers provides evidence for the unidirectionality of information transfer between the two cell types, with processes of ipRGCs being directly adjacent to sites of dopamine release. This fundamental architectural feature of the mammalian retina appears resistant to degeneration of classical photoreceptors and may provide the anatomical substrate by which dopamine cells influence the physiology of central circadian targets in the brain.

  18. 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

  19. Oleoylethanolamide exerts partial and dose-dependent neuroprotection of substantia nigra dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Galan-Rodriguez, B; Suarez, J; Gonzalez-Aparicio, R; Bermudez-Silva, F J; Maldonado, R; Robledo, P; Rodriguez de Fonseca, F; Fernandez-Espejo, E

    2009-03-01

    Oleoylethanolamide (OEA), agonist of nuclear PPAR-alpha receptors and antagonist of vanilloid TRPV1 receptors, has been reported to show cytoprotective properties. In this study, OEA-induced neuroprotection has been tested in vitro and in vivo models of 6-OHDA-induced degeneration of substantia nigra dopamine neurons. First, PPAR-alpha receptors were confirmed to be located in the nigrostriatal circuit, these receptors being expressed by dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra, and intrinsic neurons and fibers bundles of the dorsal striatum. In the substantia nigra, their location was confined to the ventral tier. The in vitro study showed that 1 microM OEA exerted a significantly neuroprotective effect on cultured nigral dopamine neurons, effects following U-shaped dose-response curves. Regarding the in vivo study, rats were locally injected with OEA into the right striatum and vehicle into the left striatum 30 min before 6-OHDA-induced striatal lesion. In the short term, signals of heme oxygenase-1 (oxidation marker, 24 and 48 h post-lesion) and OX6 (reactive microglia marker, 96 h post-lesion) were found to be significantly less intense in the striatum pretreated with 5 microM OEA. In the long term (1 month), reduction in striatal TH and synaptophysin was less intense whether the right striatum was pretreated with 5 microM OEA, and nigral TH+ neuron death was significantly reduced after pretreatment with 1 and 5 microM OEA. In vivo effects also followed U-shaped dose-response curves. In conclusion, OEA shows U-shaped partial and dose-dependent neuroprotective properties both in vitro and in vivo models of substantia nigra dopamine neuron degeneration. The occurrence of U-shaped dose-response relationships normally suggests toxicity due to high drug concentration or that opposing intracellular pathways are activated by different OEA doses.

  20. 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

    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

  1. Striatal neurones have a specific ability to respond to phasic dopamine release.

    PubMed

    Castro, Liliana R V; Brito, Marina; Guiot, Elvire; Polito, Marina; Korn, Christoph W; Hervé, Denis; Girault, Jean-Antoine; Paupardin-Tritsch, Danièle; Vincent, Pierre

    2013-07-01

      The cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA) signalling cascade is ubiquitous, and each step in this cascade involves enzymes that are expressed in multiple isoforms. We investigated the effects of this diversity on the integration of the pathway in the target cell by comparing prefrontal cortical neurones with striatal neurones which express a very specific set of signalling proteins. The prefrontal cortex and striatum both receive dopaminergic inputs and we analysed the dynamics of the cAMP/PKA signal triggered by dopamine D1 receptors in these two brain structures. Biosensor imaging in mouse brain slice preparations showed profound differences in the D1 response between pyramidal cortical neurones and striatal medium spiny neurones: the cAMP/PKA response was much stronger, faster and longer lasting in striatal neurones than in pyramidal cortical neurones. We identified three molecular determinants underlying these differences: different activities of phosphodiesterases, particularly those of type 4, which strongly damp the cAMP signal in the cortex but not in the striatum; stronger adenylyl cyclase activity in the striatum, generating responses with a faster onset than in the cortex; and DARPP-32, a phosphatase inhibitor which prolongs PKA action in the striatum. Striatal neurones were also highly responsive in terms of gene expression since a single sub-second dopamine stimulation is sufficient to trigger c-Fos expression in the striatum, but not in the cortex. Our data show how specific molecular elements of the cAMP/PKA signalling cascade selectively enable the principal striatal neurones to respond to brief dopamine stimuli, a critical process in incentive learning.

  2. Positive reinforcement mediated by midbrain dopamine neurons requires D1 and D2 receptor activation in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Steinberg, Elizabeth E; Boivin, Josiah R; Saunders, Benjamin T; Witten, Ilana B; Deisseroth, Karl; Janak, Patricia H

    2014-01-01

    The neural basis of positive reinforcement is often studied in the laboratory using intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS), a simple behavioral model in which subjects perform an action in order to obtain exogenous stimulation of a specific brain area. Recently we showed that activation of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons supports ICSS behavior, consistent with proposed roles of this neural population in reinforcement learning. However, VTA dopamine neurons make connections with diverse brain regions, and the specific efferent target(s) that mediate the ability of dopamine neuron activation to support ICSS have not been definitively demonstrated. Here, we examine in transgenic rats whether dopamine neuron-specific ICSS relies on the connection between the VTA and the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain region also implicated in positive reinforcement. We find that optogenetic activation of dopaminergic terminals innervating the NAc is sufficient to drive ICSS, and that ICSS driven by optical activation of dopamine neuron somata in the VTA is significantly attenuated by intra-NAc injections of D1 or D2 receptor antagonists. These data demonstrate that the NAc is a critical efferent target sustaining dopamine neuron-specific ICSS, identify receptor subtypes through which dopamine acts to promote this behavior, and ultimately help to refine our understanding of the neural circuitry mediating positive reinforcement.

  3. A planar microelectrode array for simultaneous detection of electrically evoked dopamine release from distinct locations of a single isolated neuron.

    PubMed

    Patel, Bhavik Anil; Luk, Collin C; Leow, Pei Ling; Lee, Arthur J; Zaidi, Wali; Syed, Naweed I

    2013-05-21

    Neurotransmission is a key process of communication between neurons. Although much is known about this process and the influence it has on the function of the body, little is understood about the dynamics of signalling from structural regions of a single neuron. In this study we have fabricated and characterised a microelectrode array (MEA) which was utilised for simultaneous multi-site recordings of dopamine release from an isolated single neuron. The MEA consisted of gold electrodes that were created in plane with the insulation layer using a chemical mechanical planarization process. The detection limit for dopamine measurements was 11 ± 3 nM and all the gold electrodes performed in a consistent fashion during amperometric recordings of 100 nM dopamine. Fouling of the gold electrode was investigated, where no significant change in the current was observed over 4 hours when monitoring 100 nM dopamine. The MEA was accessed using freshly isolated dopaminergic somas from the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, where electrically evoked dopamine release was clearly observed. Measurements were conducted at four structural locations of a single isolated neuron, where electrically evoked dopamine release was observed from the cell body, axonal regions and the terminal. Over time, the release of dopamine varied over the structural regions of the neuron. Such information can provide an insight into the signalling mechanism of neurons and how they potentially form synaptic connections.

  4. Prefrontal cortex gates acute morphine action on dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Liu, Changliang; Fang, Xing; Wu, Qianqian; Jin, Guozhang; Zhen, Xuechu

    2015-08-01

    Morphine excites dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), an effect mediated by both local and systemic mechanisms. While the importance of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) - VTA circuit in opiate addiction is well established, little is known about how the PFC regulates the activity of VTA DA neurons upon morphine stimulation. One major challenge is that VTA DA neurons are highly heterogeneous in terms of projection and regulation, making their responses to PFC manipulations variable. Our previous work has identified a subgroup of VTA DA neurons exhibiting significant slow oscillation in their firing sequence, and demonstrated that most of these neurons are functionally connected with the PFC. In the present study, we focus our efforts only on VTA DA neurons expressing strong slow oscillation, and report that blocking the neuronal activity in the PFC remarkably attenuates the morphine-induced excitation of these neurons. Using in vivo microdialysis, we find that inactivation of the PFC also reduces the morphine-induced elevation of DA levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Furthermore, 24 h after only single morphine exposure, PFC-inactivation failed to prevent subsequent morphine challenge from exciting VTA DA neurons, which is paralleled by altered response of PFC pyramidal neurons to morphine stimulation. Our results indicate that the PFC gates acute morphine action on a subset of VTA DA neurons, which is highly plastic and can be functionally remodeled by morphine exposure.

  5. Progesterone increases dopamine neuron number in differentiating mouse embryonic stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Díaz, Néstor F.; Díaz-Martínez, Néstor E.; Velasco, Iván; Camacho-Arroyo, Ignacio

    2009-01-01

    Progesterone participates in the regulation of several functions in mammals including brain differentiation and dopaminergic transmission but the role of progesterone in dopaminergic cell differentiation is unknown. We investigated the effects of progesterone on dopaminergic differentiation of embryonic stem cells using a 5-stage protocol. Cells were incubated with different progesterone concentrations during the proliferation (stage 4) or differentiation (stage 5) phases. Progesterone added at 1, 10 and 100 nM during stage 4 increased 72, 80 and 62% respectively the number of dopamine neurons at stage 5 as compared to control group. The administration of progesterone at stage 5 did not induce significant changes in the number of dopamine neurons. These actions were not mediated by the activation of intracellular progesterone receptors, because RU 486 did not block the positive effects of progesterone on differentiation to dopaminergic neurons. Our results suggest that progesterone should be useful to produce higher proportions of dopamine neurons from embryonic stem cells aimed for treating Parkinson's disease. PMID:19500215

  6. Presynaptic recording of quanta from midbrain dopamine neurons and modulation of the quantal size.

    PubMed

    Pothos, E N; Davila, V; Sulzer, D

    1998-06-01

    The observation of quantal release from central catecholamine neurons has proven elusive because of the absence of evoked rapid postsynaptic currents. We adapted amperometric methods to observe quantal release directly from axonal varicosities of midbrain dopamine neurons that predominantly contain small synaptic vesicles. Quantal events were elicited by high K+ or alpha-latrotoxin, required extracellular Ca2+, and were abolished by reserpine. The events indicated the release of 3000 molecules over 200 microsec, much smaller and faster events than quanta associated with large dense-core vesicles previously recorded in vertebrate preparations. The number of dopamine molecules per quantum increased as a population to 380% of controls after glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) exposure and to 350% of controls after exposure to the dopamine precursor L-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA). These results introduce a means to measure directly the number of transmitter molecules released from small synaptic vesicles of CNS neurons. Moreover, quantal size was not an invariant parameter in CNS neurons but could be modulated by neurotrophic factors and altered neurotransmitter synthesis.

  7. Progesterone increases dopamine neurone number in differentiating mouse embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Díaz, N F; Díaz-Martínez, N E; Velasco, I; Camacho-Arroyo, I

    2009-08-01

    Progesterone participates in the regulation of several functions in mammals, including brain differentiation and dopaminergic transmission, but the role of progesterone in dopaminergic cell differentiation is unknown. We investigated the effects of progesterone on dopaminergic differentiation of embryonic stem cells using a five-stage protocol. Cells were incubated with different progesterone concentrations during the proliferation (stage 4) or differentiation (stage 5) phases. Progesterone added at 1, 10 and 100 nm during stage 4 increased the number of dopamine neurones at stage 5 by 72%, 80% and 62%, respectively, compared to the control group. The administration of progesterone at stage 5 did not induce significant changes in the number of dopamine neurones. These actions were not mediated by the activation of intracellular progesterone receptors because RU 486 did not block the positive effects of progesterone on differentiation to dopaminergic neurones. The results obtained suggest that progesterone should prove useful with respect to producing higher proportions of dopamine neurones from embryonic stem cells in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

  8. Efficient Generation of A9 Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons by Lentiviral Delivery of LMX1A in Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Danés, A.; Richaud, Y.; Rodríguez-Pizà, I.; Dehay, B.; Edel, M.; Bové, J.; Memo, M.; Vila, M.; Raya, A.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) offer great hope for in vitro modeling of Parkinson's disease (PD), as well as for designing cell-replacement therapies. To realize these opportunities, there is an urgent need to develop efficient protocols for the directed differentiation of hESC/iPSC into dopamine (DA) neurons with the specific characteristics of the cell population lost to PD, i.e., A9-subtype ventral midbrain DA neurons. Here we use lentiviral vectors to drive the expression of LMX1A, which encodes a transcription factor critical for ventral midbrain identity, specifically in neural progenitor cells. We show that clonal lines of hESC engineered to contain one or two copies of this lentiviral vector retain long-term self-renewing ability and pluripotent differentiation capacity. Greater than 60% of all neurons generated from LMX1A-engineered hESC were ventral midbrain DA neurons of the A9 subtype, compared with ∼10% in green fluorescent protein–engineered controls, as judged by specific marker expression and functional analyses. Moreover, DA neuron precursors differentiated from LMX1A-engineered hESC were able to survive and differentiate when grafted into the brain of adult mice. Finally, we provide evidence that LMX1A overexpression similarly increases the yield of DA neuron differentiation from human iPSC. Taken together, our data show that stable genetic engineering of hESC/iPSC with lentiviral vectors driving controlled expression of LMX1A is an efficient way to generate enriched populations of human A9-subtype ventral midbrain DA neurons, which should prove useful for modeling PD and may be helpful for designing future cell-replacement strategies. PMID:21877920

  9. What can be learned from studies of multisubstrate mechanisms of neuronal dopamine transport?

    PubMed

    Schenk, James O; George, Shannon E; Schumacher, Paul Dietrich

    2003-10-31

    The dopamine transporter (DAT) is a Na+- and Cl--dependent transporter and, with respect to its three apparent substrates, both partially random sequential as well as ordered mechanisms have been reported. Here we describe some of the features of DAT, such as the coupling of energy to concentrate dopamine and the properties of slippage and leakage. Further, in considering the regulation of transport velocities by DAT few have considered issues related to substrate regulation of DAT activity. Specifically, what effect do changes in the constants (K) for the participation of Na+ and Cl- have on dopamine transport velocity? It is shown that DAT may possess properties of slippage, an argument is made that leakage may be important in neuronal systems containing DAT, and the influence of changing values of K for the participation of Na+ and Cl- in transport is shown to produce large effects on DAT activity depending on the multisubstrate kinetic mechanism.

  10. 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.

  11. Cue-Evoked Dopamine Release Rapidly Modulates D2 Neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens During Motivated Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Owesson-White, Catarina; Belle, Anna M.; Herr, Natalie R.; Peele, Jessica L.; Gowrishankar, Preethi; Carelli, Regina M.

    2016-01-01

    Dopaminergic neurons that project from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) fire in response to unpredicted rewards or to cues that predict reward delivery. Although it is well established that reward-related events elicit dopamine release in the NAc, the role of rapid dopamine signaling in modulating NAc neurons that respond to these events remains unclear. Here, we examined dopamine's actions in the NAc in the rat brain during an intracranial self-stimulation task in which a cue predicted lever availability for electrical stimulation of the VTA. To distinguish actions of dopamine at select receptors on NAc neurons during the task, we used a multimodal sensor that probes three aspects of neuronal communication simultaneously: neurotransmitter release, cell firing, and identification of dopamine receptor type. Consistent with prior studies, we first show dopamine release events in the NAc both at cue presentation and after lever press (LP). Distinct populations of NAc neurons encode these behavioral events at these same locations selectively. Using our multimodal sensor, we found that dopamine-mediated responses after the cue involve exclusively a subset of D2-like receptors (D2Rs), whereas dopamine-mediated responses proximal to the LP are mediated by both D1-like receptors (D1R) and D2Rs. These results demonstrate for the first time that dopamine-mediated responses after cues that predict reward availability are specifically linked to its actions at a subset of neurons in the NAc containing D2Rs. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Successful reward procurement typically involves the completion of a goal-directed behavior in response to appropriate environmental cues. Although numerous studies link the mesolimbic dopamine system with these processes, how dopamine's effects are mediated on the receptor level within a key neural substrate, the nucleus accumbens, remains elusive. Here, we used a unique multimodal sensor that reveals three aspects of

  12. Cue-Evoked Dopamine Release Rapidly Modulates D2 Neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens During Motivated Behavior.

    PubMed

    Owesson-White, Catarina; Belle, Anna M; Herr, Natalie R; Peele, Jessica L; Gowrishankar, Preethi; Carelli, Regina M; Wightman, R Mark

    2016-06-01

    Dopaminergic neurons that project from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) fire in response to unpredicted rewards or to cues that predict reward delivery. Although it is well established that reward-related events elicit dopamine release in the NAc, the role of rapid dopamine signaling in modulating NAc neurons that respond to these events remains unclear. Here, we examined dopamine's actions in the NAc in the rat brain during an intracranial self-stimulation task in which a cue predicted lever availability for electrical stimulation of the VTA. To distinguish actions of dopamine at select receptors on NAc neurons during the task, we used a multimodal sensor that probes three aspects of neuronal communication simultaneously: neurotransmitter release, cell firing, and identification of dopamine receptor type. Consistent with prior studies, we first show dopamine release events in the NAc both at cue presentation and after lever press (LP). Distinct populations of NAc neurons encode these behavioral events at these same locations selectively. Using our multimodal sensor, we found that dopamine-mediated responses after the cue involve exclusively a subset of D2-like receptors (D2Rs), whereas dopamine-mediated responses proximal to the LP are mediated by both D1-like receptors (D1R) and D2Rs. These results demonstrate for the first time that dopamine-mediated responses after cues that predict reward availability are specifically linked to its actions at a subset of neurons in the NAc containing D2Rs. Successful reward procurement typically involves the completion of a goal-directed behavior in response to appropriate environmental cues. Although numerous studies link the mesolimbic dopamine system with these processes, how dopamine's effects are mediated on the receptor level within a key neural substrate, the nucleus accumbens, remains elusive. Here, we used a unique multimodal sensor that reveals three aspects of neuronal interactions

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Dopamine and baclofen inhibit the hyperpolarization-activated cation current in rat ventral tegmental neurones.

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Z G; Pessia, M; North, R A

    1993-01-01

    1. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were made from dopamine-containing ventral tegmental area neurones in slices of rat midbrain. An inward current (Ih) was activated by hyperpolarization from -60 mV. 2. Dopamine (30 microM) reduced the amplitude of Ih by 10-30% at potentials from -70 to -120 mV. The effect was concentration dependent, mimicked by the D2 agonist quinpirole, and prevented by the D2 antagonist (-)-sulpiride. Baclofen (0.3-3 microM) also inhibited Ih; this action was antagonized by 2-hydroxysaclofen but not by (-)-sulpiride. The decrease in Ih resulted from a reduction in the maximal current with no change in the voltage dependence. 3. The action of dopamine was unaffected by cadmium (200 microM), forskolin (10 microM), the adenylyl cyclase inhibitor 2',3'-dideoxyadenosine (100 microM), or by intracellular solution containing cyclic AMP (2 mM). 4. Ih was progressively reduced during the first 5-10 min of recording with electrodes containing guanosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate); after this time, dopamine had no further effect. 5. It is concluded that agonists acting at D2 receptors and GABAB receptors reduce Ih in ventral tegmental neurones. PMID:8392580

  20. Separate groups of dopamine neurons innervate caudate head and tail encoding flexible and stable value memories.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Dopamine (DA) neurons are thought to be critical for reward value-based learning by modifying synaptic transmissions in the striatum. Yet, different regions of the striatum seem to guide different kinds of learning. Do DA neurons contribute to the regional differences of the striatum in learning? As a first step to answer this question, we examined whether the head and tail of the caudate nucleus of the monkey (Macaca mulatta) receive inputs from the same or different DA neurons. We chose these caudate regions because we previously showed that caudate head neurons learn values of visual objects quickly and flexibly, whereas caudate tail neurons learn object values slowly but retain them stably. Here we confirmed the functional difference by recording single neuronal activity while the monkey performed the flexible and stable value tasks, and then injected retrograde tracers in the functional domains of caudate head and tail. The projecting dopaminergic neurons were identified using tyrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemistry. We found that two groups of DA neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta project largely separately to the caudate head and tail. These groups of DA neurons were mostly separated topographically: head-projecting neurons were located in the rostral-ventral-medial region, while tail-projecting neurons were located in the caudal-dorsal-lateral regions of the substantia nigra. Furthermore, they showed different morphological features: tail-projecting neurons were larger and less circular than head-projecting neurons. Our data raise the possibility that different groups of DA neurons selectively guide learning of flexible (short-term) and stable (long-term) memories of object values.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Methamphetamine self-administration in mice decreases GIRK channel-mediated currents in midbrain dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Sharpe, Amanda L; Varela, Erika; Bettinger, Lynne; Beckstead, Michael J

    2014-10-31

    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. 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. 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. Our results suggest that methamphetamine self-administration decreases GIRK channel-mediated currents in dopaminergic neurons and that this effect may be calcium dependent. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on

  4. 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.

  5. Thyroid Hormone-Otx2 Signaling Is Required for Embryonic Ventral Midbrain Neural Stem Cells Differentiated into Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chunhai; Ma, Qinglong; Chen, Xiaowei; Zhong, Min; Deng, Ping; Zhu, Gang; Zhang, Yanwen; Zhang, Lei; Yang, Zhiqi; Zhang, Kuan; Guo, Lu; Wang, Liting; Yu, Zhengping

    2015-01-01

    Midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons are essential for maintaining multiple brain functions. These neurons have also been implicated in relation with diverse neurological disorders. However, how these neurons are developed from neuronal stem cells (NSCs) remains largely unknown. In this study, we provide both in vivo and in vitro evidence that the thyroid hormone, an important physiological factor for brain development, promotes DA neuron differentiation from embryonic ventral midbrain (VM) NSCs. We find that thyroid hormone deficiency during development reduces the midbrain DA neuron number, downregulates the expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and the dopamine transporter (DAT), and impairs the DA neuron-dependent motor behavior. In addition, thyroid hormone treatment during VM NSC differentiation in vitro increases the production of DA neurons and upregulates the expression of TH and DAT. We also found that the thyroid hormone enhances the expression of Otx2, an important determinant of DA neurogenesis, during DA neuron differentiation. Our in vitro gene silencing experiments indicate that Otx2 is required for thyroid hormone-dependent DA neuron differentiation from embryonic VM NSCs. Finally, we revealed both in vivo and in vitro that the thyroid hormone receptor alpha 1 is expressed in embryonic VM NSCs. Furthermore, it participates in the effects of thyroid hormone-induced Otx2 upregulation and DA neuron differentiation. These data demonstrate the role and molecular mechanisms of how the thyroid hormone regulates DA neuron differentiation from embryonic VM NSCs, particularly providing new mechanisms and a potential strategy for generating dopamine neurons from NSCs. PMID:25867707

  6. A model for modulation of neuronal synchronization by D4 dopamine receptor-mediated phospholipid methylation.

    PubMed

    Kuznetsova, Anna Y; Deth, Richard C

    2008-06-01

    We describe a new molecular mechanism of dopamine-induced membrane protein modulation that can tune neuronal oscillation frequency to attention-related gamma rhythm. This mechanism is based on the unique ability of D4 dopamine receptors (D4R) to carry out phospholipid methylation (PLM) that may affect the kinetics of ion channels. We show that by deceasing the inertia of the delayed rectifier potassium channel, a transition to 40 Hz oscillations can be achieved. Decreased potassium channel inertia shortens spike duration and decreases the interspike interval via its influence on the calcium-dependent potassium current. This mechanism leads to a transition to attention-related gamma oscillations in a pyramidal cell-interneuron network. The higher frequency and better synchronization is observed with PLM affecting pyramidal neurons only, and recurrent excitation between pyramidal neurons is important for synchronization. Thus dopamine-stimulated methylation of membrane phospholipids may be an important mechanism for modulating firing activity, while impaired methylation can contribute to disorders of attention.

  7. Cabergoline, dopamine D2 receptor agonist, prevents neuronal cell death under oxidative stress via reducing excitotoxicity.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Plasticity of hypothalamic dopamine neurons during lactation results in dissociation of electrical activity and release.

    PubMed

    Romanò, Nicola; Yip, Siew H; Hodson, David J; Guillou, Anne; Parnaudeau, Sébastien; Kirk, Siobhan; Tronche, François; Bonnefont, Xavier; Le Tissier, Paul; Bunn, Stephen J; Grattan, Dave R; Mollard, Patrice; Martin, Agnès O

    2013-03-06

    Tuberoinfundibular dopamine (TIDA) neurons are the central regulators of prolactin (PRL) secretion. Their extensive functional plasticity allows a change from low PRL secretion in the non-pregnant state to the condition of hyperprolactinemia that characterizes lactation. To allow this rise in PRL, TIDA neurons are thought to become unresponsive to PRL at lactation and functionally silenced. Here we show that, contrary to expectations, the electrical properties of the system were not modified during lactation and that the neurons remained electrically responsive to a PRL stimulus, with PRL inducing an acute increase in their firing rate during lactation that was identical to that seen in non-pregnant mice. Furthermore, we show a long-term organization of TIDA neuron electrical activity with an harmonization of their firing rates, which remains intact during lactation. However, PRL-induced secretion of dopamine (DA) at the median eminence was strongly blunted during lactation, at least in part attributable to lack of phosphorylation of tyrosine hydroxylase, the key enzyme involved in DA synthesis. We therefore conclude that lactation, rather than involving electrical silencing of TIDA neurons, represents a condition of decoupling between electrical activity at the cell body and DA secretion at the median eminence.

  9. Inhibition of tetrodotoxin-resistant sodium current in dorsal root ganglia neurons mediated by D1/D5 dopamine receptors

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Dopaminergic fibers originating from area A11 of the hypothalamus project to different levels of the spinal cord and represent the major source of dopamine. In addition, tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme for the synthesis of catecholamines, is expressed in 8-10% of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons, suggesting that dopamine may be released in the dorsal root ganglia. Dopamine has been shown to modulate calcium current in DRG neurons, but the effects of dopamine on sodium current and on the firing properties of small DRG neurons are poorly understood. Results The effects of dopamine and dopamine receptor agonists were tested on the tetrodotoxin-resistant (TTX-R) sodium current recorded from acutely dissociated small (diameter ≤ 25 μm) DRG neurons. Dopamine (20 μM) and SKF 81297 (10 μM) caused inhibition of TTX-R sodium current in small DRG neurons by 23% and 37%, respectively. In contrast, quinpirole (20 μM) had no effects on the TTX-R sodium current. Inhibition by SKF 81297 of the TTX-R sodium current was not affected when the protein kinase A (PKA) activity was blocked with the PKA inhibitory peptide (6–22), but was greatly reduced when the protein kinase C (PKC) activity was blocked with the PKC inhibitory peptide (19–36), suggesting that activation of D1/D5 dopamine receptors is linked to PKC activity. Expression of D1and D5 dopamine receptors in small DRG neurons, but not D2 dopamine receptors, was confirmed by Western blotting and immunofluorescence analysis. In current clamp experiments, the number of action potentials elicited in small DRG neurons by current injection was reduced by ~ 30% by SKF 81297. Conclusions We conclude that activation of D1/D5 dopamine receptors inhibits TTX-R sodium current in unmyelinated nociceptive neurons and dampens their intrinsic excitability by reducing the number of action potentials in response to stimulus. Increasing or decreasing levels of dopamine in the dorsal root ganglia

  10. PPL2ab neurons restore sexual responses in aged Drosophila males through dopamine.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Shu-Yun; Wu, Chia-Lin; Hsieh, Min-Yen; Lin, Chen-Ta; Wen, Rong-Kun; Chen, Lien-Cheng; Chen, Yu-Hui; Yu, Yhu-Wei; Wang, Horng-Dar; Su, Yi-Ju; Lin, Chun-Ju; Yang, Cian-Yi; Guan, Hsien-Yu; Wang, Pei-Yu; Lan, Tsuo-Hung; Fu, Tsai-Feng

    2015-06-30

    Male sexual desire typically declines with ageing. However, our understanding of the neurobiological basis for this phenomenon is limited by our knowledge of the brain circuitry and neuronal pathways controlling male sexual desire. A number of studies across species suggest that dopamine (DA) affects sexual desire. Here we use genetic tools and behavioural assays to identify a novel subset of DA neurons that regulate age-associated male courtship activity in Drosophila. We find that increasing DA levels in a subset of cells in the PPL2ab neuronal cluster is necessary and sufficient for increased sustained courtship in both young and aged male flies. Our results indicate that preventing the age-related decline in DA levels in PPL2ab neurons alleviates diminished courtship behaviours in male Drosophila. These results may provide the foundation for deciphering the circuitry involved in sexual motivation in the male Drosophila brain.

  11. Persistent Dopamine Functions of Neurons Derived from Embryonic Stem Cells in a Rodent Model of Parkinson Disease

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Gómez, Jose A.; Lu, Jian-Qiang; Velasco, Iván; Rivera, Seth; Zoghbi, Sami S.; Liow, Jeih-San; Musachio, John L.; Chin, Frederick T.; Toyama, Hiroshi; Seidel, Jurgen; Green, Michael V.; Thanos, Panayotis K.; Ichise, Masanori; Pike, Victor W.; Innis, Robert B.; McKay, Ron D. G.

    2014-01-01

    The derivation of dopamine neurons is one of the best examples of the clinical potential of embryonic stem (ES) cells, but the long-term function of the grafted neurons has not been established. Here, we show that, after transplantation into an animal model, neurons derived from mouse ES cells survived for over 32 weeks, maintained midbrain markers, and had sustained behavioral effects. Microdialysis in grafted animals showed that dopamine (DA) release was induced by depolarization and pharmacological stimulants. Positron emission tomography measured the expression of presynaptic dopamine transporters in the graft and also showed that the number of postsynaptic DA D2 receptors was normalized in the host striatum. These data suggest that ES cell-derived neurons show DA release and reuptake and stimulate appropriate postsynaptic responses for long periods after implantation. This work supports continued interest in ES cells as a source of functional DA neurons. PMID:17170065

  12. Genome-wide characterisation of Foxa1 binding sites reveals several mechanisms for regulating neuronal differentiation in midbrain dopamine cells.

    PubMed

    Metzakopian, Emmanouil; Bouhali, Kamal; Alvarez-Saavedra, Matías; Whitsett, Jeffrey A; Picketts, David J; Ang, Siew-Lan

    2015-04-01

    Midbrain dopamine neuronal progenitors develop into heterogeneous subgroups of neurons, such as substantia nigra pars compacta, ventral tegmental area and retrorubal field, that regulate motor control, motivated and addictive behaviours. The development of midbrain dopamine neurons has been extensively studied, and these studies indicate that complex cross-regulatory interactions between extrinsic and intrinsic molecules regulate a precise temporal and spatial programme of neurogenesis in midbrain dopamine progenitors. To elucidate direct molecular interactions between multiple regulatory factors during neuronal differentiation in mice, we characterised genome-wide binding sites of the forkhead/winged helix transcription factor Foxa1, which functions redundantly with Foxa2 to regulate the differentiation of mDA neurons. Interestingly, our studies identified a rostral brain floor plate Neurog2 enhancer that requires direct input from Otx2, Foxa1, Foxa2 and an E-box transcription factor for its transcriptional activity. Furthermore, the chromatin remodelling factor Smarca1 was shown to function downstream of Foxa1 and Foxa2 to regulate differentiation from immature to mature midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Our genome-wide Foxa1-bound cis-regulatory sequences from ChIP-Seq and Foxa1/2 candidate target genes from RNA-Seq analyses of embryonic midbrain dopamine cells also provide an excellent resource for probing mechanistic insights into gene regulatory networks involved in the differentiation of midbrain dopamine neurons. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  13. Dopamine elevates intracellular zinc concentration in cultured rat embryonic cortical neurons through the cAMP-nitric oxide signaling cascade.

    PubMed

    Hung, Hui-Hsing; Kao, Lung-Sen; Liu, Pei-Shan; Huang, Chien-Chang; Yang, De-Ming; Pan, Chien-Yuan

    2017-07-01

    Zinc ion (Zn(2+)), the second most abundant transition metal after iron in the body, is essential for neuronal activity and also induces toxicity if the concentration is abnormally high. Our previous results show that exposure of cultured cortical neurons to dopamine elevates intracellular Zn(2+) concentrations ([Zn(2+)]i) and induces autophagosome formation but the mechanism is not clear. In this study, we characterized the signaling pathway responsible for the dopamine-induced elevation of [Zn(2+)]i and the effect of [Zn(2+)]i in modulating the autophagy in cultured rat embryonic cortical neurons. N,N,N',N'-tetrakis(2-pyridylmethyl)ethylenediamine (TPEN), a membrane-permeable Zn(2+) chelator, could rescue the cell death and suppress the autophagosome puncta number induced by dopamine. Dopamine treatment increased the lipidation level of the endogenous microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3 (LC3 II), an autophagosome marker. TPEN added 1h before, but not after, dopamine treatment suppressed the dopamine-induced elevation of LC3 II level. Inhibitors of the dopamine D1-like receptor, protein kinase A (PKA), and NOS suppressed the dopamine-induced elevation of [Zn(2+)]i. PKA activators and NO generators directly increased [Zn(2+)]i in cultured neurons. Through cell fractionation, proteins with m.w. values between 5 and 10kD were found to release Zn(2+) following NO stimulation. In addition, TPEN pretreatment and an inhibitor against PKA could suppress the LC3 II level increased by NO and dopamine, respectively. Therefore, our results demonstrate that dopamine-induced elevation of [Zn(2+)]i is mediated by the D1-like receptor-PKA-NO pathway and is important in modulating the cell death and autophagy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Comparison of the structure, function and autophagic maintenance of mitochondria in nigrostriatal and tuberoinfundibular dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Hawong, Hae-Young; Patterson, Joseph R; Winner, Brittany M; Goudreau, John L; Lookingland, Keith J

    2015-10-05

    A pathological hallmark of Parkinson׳s disease (PD) is progressive degeneration of nigrostriatal dopamine (NSDA) neurons, which underlies the motor symptoms of PD. While there is severe loss of midbrain NSDA neurons, tuberoinfundibular (TI) DA neurons in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) remain intact. In the present study, confocal microscopic analysis revealed that mitochondrial content and numbers of mitophagosomes were lower in NSDA neuronal cell bodies in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) compared to TIDA neuronal cell bodies in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) of C57BL/6J male mice. Mitochondrial respiration, mass, membrane potential and morphology were determined using bioenergetic, flow cytometric and transmission electron microscopic analyses of synaptosomes isolated from discrete brain regions containing axon terminals of NSDA and TIDA neurons. Maximum and spare respiratory capacities, and mitochondrial mass were lower in synaptosomal mitochondria derived from the striatum (ST) as compared with the MBH, which correlated with lower numbers of mitochondria per synaptosome in these brain regions. In contrast, there was no regional difference in mitochondrial basal, maximum or spare respirations following inhibition of Complex I activity with rotenone. These results reveal that higher numbers of viable mitochondria are correlated with more extensive autophagic mitochondrial quality maintenance in TIDA neurons as compared with NSDA neurons.

  15. Effects of scopolamine on dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra: role of the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus.

    PubMed

    Di Giovanni, Giuseppe; Shi, Wei-Xing

    2009-08-01

    Previous neurochemical and behavioral studies suggest that muscarinic receptor antagonism has an excitatory effect on the nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) system. Using in vivo extracellular single unit recording, this study examined whether blockade of the muscarinic receptor by scopolamine alters the firing properties of DA neurons in the substantia nigra (SN). Scopolamine was administered either systemically or locally to DA neurons using microiontophoresis. Surprisingly, scopolamine did not cause any significant change in either the firing rate or pattern of the spontaneously active DA neurons. However, systemic injection of scopolamine significantly increased the number of active DA neurons in the SN. Local infusion of scopolamine into the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPT) mimicked the effect induced by systemically administered scopolamine, significantly increasing the number of active DA neurons without altering the firing rate and pattern. These results suggest that the reported increase in striatal DA release induced by scopolamine is in part mediated by activation of silent nigral DA neurons. The experiments with PPT local infusion further suggest that part of the effect of scopolamine may be due to its blockade of the inhibitory muscarinic autoreceptors on PPT cholinergic cells. The latter effect may lead to activation of quiescent DA neurons by increasing acetylcholine (ACh) release in the SN or in other brain areas providing inputs to DA neurons. Further understanding of the mechanism of action of scopolamine may help us further understand the role of ACh in both the pathophysiology and treatment of DA-related disorders including schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease.

  16. Essential function of HIPK2 in TGFβ-dependent survival of midbrain dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jiasheng; Pho, Vanee; Bonasera, Stephen J; Holzmann, Jed; Tang, Amy T; Hellmuth, Joanna; Tang, Siuwah; Janak, Patricia H; Tecott, Laurence H; Huang, Eric J

    2013-01-01

    Transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) is a potent trophic factor for midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons, but its in vivo function and signaling mechanisms are not entirely understood. We show that the transcriptional cofactor homeodomain interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) is required for the TGFβ-mediated survival of mouse DA neurons. The targeted deletion of Hipk2 has no deleterious effect on the neurogenesis of DA neurons, but leads to a selective loss of these neurons that is due to increased apoptosis during programmed cell death. As a consequence, Hipk2−/− mutants show an array of psychomotor abnormalities. The function of HIPK2 depends on its interaction with receptor-regulated Smads to activate TGFβ target genes. In support of this notion, DA neurons from Hipk2−/− mutants fail to survive in the presence of TGFβ3 and Tgfβ3−/− mutants show DA neuron abnormalities similar to those seen in Hipk2−/− mutants. These data underscore the importance of the TGFβ-Smad-HIPK2 pathway in the survival of DA neurons and its potential as a therapeutic target for promoting DA neuron survival during neurodegeneration. PMID:17159989

  17. Comparison of the structure, function and autophagic maintenance of mitochondria in nigrostriatal and tuberoinfundibular dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Hawong, Hae-young; Patterson, Joseph R; Winner, Brittany M; Goudreau, John L; Lookingland, Keith J

    2015-01-01

    A pathological hallmark of Parkinson disease (PD) is progressive degeneration of nigrostriatal dopamine (NSDA) neurons, which underlies the motor symptoms of PD. While there is severe loss of midbrain NSDA neurons, tuberoinfundibular (TI) DA neurons in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) remain intact. In the present study, confocal microscopic analysis revealed that mitochondrial content and numbers of mitophagosomes were lower in NSDA neuronal cell bodies in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) compared to TIDA neuronal cell bodies in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) of C57BL/6J male mice. Mitochondrial respiration, mass, membrane potential and morphology were determined using bioenergetic, flow cytometric and transmission electron microscopic analyses of synaptosomes isolated from discrete brain regions containing axon terminals of NSDA and TIDA neurons. Maximum and spare respiratory capacities, and mitochondrial mass were lower in synaptosomal mitochondria derived from the striatum (ST) as compared with the MBH, which correlated with lower numbers of mitochondria per synaptosome in these brain regions. In contrast, there was no regional difference in mitochondrial basal, maximum or spare respirations following inhibition of Complex I activity with rotenone. These results reveal that higher numbers of viable mitochondria are correlated with more extensive autophagic mitochondrial quality maintenance in TIDA neurons as compared with NSDA neurons. PMID:26141374

  18. Dopamine Neurons Change the Type of Excitability in Response to Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Gutkin, Boris S.; Lapish, Christopher C.; Kuznetsov, Alexey

    2016-01-01

    The dynamics of neuronal excitability determine the neuron’s response to stimuli, its synchronization and resonance properties and, ultimately, the computations it performs in the brain. We investigated the dynamical mechanisms underlying the excitability type of dopamine (DA) neurons, using a conductance-based biophysical model, and its regulation by intrinsic and synaptic currents. Calibrating the model to reproduce low frequency tonic firing results in N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) excitation balanced by γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)-mediated inhibition and leads to type I excitable behavior characterized by a continuous decrease in firing frequency in response to hyperpolarizing currents. Furthermore, we analyzed how excitability type of the DA neuron model is influenced by changes in the intrinsic current composition. A subthreshold sodium current is necessary for a continuous frequency decrease during application of a negative current, and the low-frequency “balanced” state during simultaneous activation of NMDA and GABA receptors. Blocking this current switches the neuron to type II characterized by the abrupt onset of repetitive firing. Enhancing the anomalous rectifier Ih current also switches the excitability to type II. Key characteristics of synaptic conductances that may be observed in vivo also change the type of excitability: a depolarized γ-Aminobutyric acid receptor (GABAR) reversal potential or co-activation of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs) leads to an abrupt frequency drop to zero, which is typical for type II excitability. Coactivation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) together with AMPARs and GABARs shifts the type I/II boundary toward more hyperpolarized GABAR reversal potentials. To better understand how altering each of the aforementioned currents leads to changes in excitability profile of DA neuron, we provide a thorough dynamical analysis. Collectively, these results imply that type I

  19. Effects of Prolactin and Lactation on A15 Dopamine Neurones in the Rostral Preoptic Area of Female Mice.

    PubMed

    Brown, R S E; Herbison, A E; Grattan, D R

    2015-09-01

    There are several distinct populations of dopamine neurones in the hypothalamus. Some of these, such as the A12 tuberoinfundibular dopamine neurones and the A14 periventricular dopamine neurones, are known to be regulated by the anterior pituitary hormone prolactin, whereas others, such as the A13 zona incerta dopaminergic neurones, are not. The present study aimed to investigate the role of prolactin in the regulation of a fourth population of hypothalamic dopamine neurones: the A15 dopamine population in the rostral hypothalamus. These neurones may play a role in the regulation of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion, and we hypothesised that they might contribute to the suppression of GnRH release and infertility caused by hyperprolactinaemia. Under basal (low prolactin) conditions, only 8% of A15 dopamine neurones in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV) of vehicle-treated dioestrous mice expressed phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (pSTAT5), as labelled by immunohistochemistry. We have previously shown that this transcription factor can be used as an index of prolactin-receptor activation. Following acute prolactin administration, 35% of AVPV dopamine neurones co-expressed pSTAT5, whereas, during lactation, when endogenous prolactin levels are chronically elevated, 55% of AVPV dopamine neurones expressed pSTAT5. There was also a significant increase in dopamine turnover in the rostral hypothalamus, both in the diagonal band of Broca at the level of the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis and in the rostral preoptic area during lactation, with the 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid/dopamine ratio increasing from 0.28 ± 0.04 and 0.14 ± 0.01 in dioestrous mice to 0.82 ± 0.06 and 0.38 ± 0.03, respectively, in day 7 lactating mice. It is not yet known whether this change is driven by the hyperprolactinaemia of lactation, or another lactation-specific signal. These data demonstrate that the A15

  20. Dopamine suppresses neuronal activity of Helisoma B5 neurons via a D2-like receptor, activating PLC and K channels.

    PubMed

    Zhong, L R; Artinian, L; Rehder, V

    2013-01-03

    Dopamine (DA) plays fundamental roles as a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator in the central nervous system. How DA modulates the electrical excitability of individual neurons to elicit various behaviors is of great interest in many systems. The buccal ganglion of the freshwater pond snail Helisoma trivolvis contains the neuronal circuitry for feeding and DA is known to modulate the feeding motor program in Helisoma. The buccal neuron B5 participates in the control of gut contractile activity and is surrounded by dopaminergic processes, which are expected to release DA. In order to study whether DA modulates the electrical activity of individual B5 neurons, we performed experiments on physically isolated B5 neurons in culture and on B5 neurons within the buccal ganglion in situ. We report that DA application elicited a strong hyperpolarization in both conditions and turned the electrical activity from a spontaneously firing state to an electrically silent state. Using the cell culture system, we demonstrated that the strong hyperpolarization was inhibited by the D2 receptor antagonist sulpiride and the phospholipase C (PLC) inhibitor U73122, indicating that DA affected the membrane potential of B5 neurons through the activation of a D2-like receptor and PLC. Further studies revealed that the DA-induced hyperpolarization was inhibited by the K channel blockers 4-aminopyridine and tetraethylammonium, suggesting that K channels might serve as the ultimate target of DA signaling. Through its modulatory effect on the electrical activity of B5 neurons, the release of DA in vivo may contribute to a neuronal output that results in a variable feeding motor program.

  1. Loss of Dopamine Phenotype Among Midbrain Neurons in Lesch–Nyhan Disease

    PubMed Central

    Göttle, Martin; Prudente, Cecilia N.; Fu, Rong; Sutcliffe, Diane; Pang, Hong; Cooper, Deborah; Veledar, Emir; Glass, Jonathan D.; Gearing, Marla; Visser, Jasper E.; Jinnah, H. A.

    2016-01-01

    Objective Lesch–Nyhan disease (LND) is caused by congenital deficiency of the purine recycling enzyme, hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGprt). Affected patients have a peculiar neurobehavioral syndrome linked with reductions of dopamine in the basal ganglia. The purpose of the current studies was to determine the anatomical basis for the reduced dopamine in human brain specimens collected at autopsy. Methods Histopathological studies were conducted using autopsy tissue from 5 LND cases and 6 controls. Specific findings were replicated in brain tissue from an HGprt-deficient knockout mouse using immunoblots, and in a cell model of HGprt deficiency by flow-activated cell sorting (FACS). Results Extensive histological studies of the LND brains revealed no signs suggestive of a degenerative process or other consistent abnormalities in any brain region. However, neurons of the substantia nigra from the LND cases showed reduced melanization and reduced immunoreactivity for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine synthesis. In the HGprt-deficient mouse model, immunohistochemical stains for TH revealed no obvious loss of midbrain dopamine neurons, but quantitative immunoblots revealed reduced TH expression in the striatum. Finally, 10 independent HGprt-deficient mouse MN9D neuroblastoma lines showed no signs of impaired viability, but FACS revealed significantly reduced TH immunoreactivity compared to the control parent line. Interpretation These results reveal an unusual phenomenon in which the neurochemical phenotype of dopaminergic neurons is not linked with a degenerative process. They suggest an important relationship between purine recycling pathways and the neurochemical integrity of the dopaminergic phenotype. PMID:24891139

  2. Loss of dopamine phenotype among midbrain neurons in Lesch-Nyhan disease.

    PubMed

    Göttle, Martin; Prudente, Cecilia N; Fu, Rong; Sutcliffe, Diane; Pang, Hong; Cooper, Deborah; Veledar, Emir; Glass, Jonathan D; Gearing, Marla; Visser, Jasper E; Jinnah, H A

    2014-07-01

    Lesch-Nyhan disease (LND) is caused by congenital deficiency of the purine recycling enzyme, hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGprt). Affected patients have a peculiar neurobehavioral syndrome linked with reductions of dopamine in the basal ganglia. The purpose of the current studies was to determine the anatomical basis for the reduced dopamine in human brain specimens collected at autopsy. Histopathological studies were conducted using autopsy tissue from 5 LND cases and 6 controls. Specific findings were replicated in brain tissue from an HGprt-deficient knockout mouse using immunoblots, and in a cell model of HGprt deficiency by flow-activated cell sorting (FACS). Extensive histological studies of the LND brains revealed no signs suggestive of a degenerative process or other consistent abnormalities in any brain region. However, neurons of the substantia nigra from the LND cases showed reduced melanization and reduced immunoreactivity for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine synthesis. In the HGprt-deficient mouse model, immunohistochemical stains for TH revealed no obvious loss of midbrain dopamine neurons, but quantitative immunoblots revealed reduced TH expression in the striatum. Finally, 10 independent HGprt-deficient mouse MN9D neuroblastoma lines showed no signs of impaired viability, but FACS revealed significantly reduced TH immunoreactivity compared to the control parent line. These results reveal an unusual phenomenon in which the neurochemical phenotype of dopaminergic neurons is not linked with a degenerative process. They suggest an important relationship between purine recycling pathways and the neurochemical integrity of the dopaminergic phenotype. © 2014 American Neurological Association.

  3. Functional upregulation of Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels in the development of substantia nigra dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    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 Ca(2+), TEA, BK, and SK blockers. Rapidly after birth, the outward current increases to 15nS-V and becomes sensitive to Ca(2+), 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 Ca(2+) channels in clusters. In the first cluster, T-type Ca(2+) and BK channels are coupled within distances of ~20 nm (200 Å). The second cluster consists of L-type Ca(2+) 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.

  4. 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

  5. The Impact of Exercise on the Vulnerability of Dopamine Neurons to Cell Death in Animal Models of Parkinson’s Disease

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-07-01

    AD_________________ Award Number: DAMD17-03-1-0479 TITLE: The Impact of Exercise on the...To) 16 Jun 2006 – 15 Jun 2007 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER The Impact of Exercise on the Vulnerability of Dopamine Neurons to...Parkinson’s disease results in part from the loss of dopamine neurons. We hypothesize that exercise reduces the vulnerability of dopamine neurons to

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Conditional deletion of Ndufs4 in dopaminergic neurons promotes Parkinson’s disease-like non-motor symptoms without loss of dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Won-Seok; Kim, Hyung-Wook; Tronche, François; Palmiter, Richard D.; Storm, Daniel R.; Xia, Zhengui

    2017-01-01

    Reduction of mitochondrial complex I activity is one of the major hypotheses for dopaminergic neuron death in Parkinson’s disease. However, reduction of complex I activity in all cells or selectively in dopaminergic neurons via conditional deletion of the Ndufs4 gene, a subunit of the mitochondrial complex I, does not cause dopaminergic neuron death or motor impairment. Here, we investigated the effect of reduced complex I activity on non-motor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease using conditional knockout (cKO) mice in which Ndufs4 was selectively deleted in dopaminergic neurons (Ndufs4 cKO). This conditional deletion of Ndufs4, which reduces complex I activity in dopamine neurons, did not cause a significant loss of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc), and there was no loss of dopaminergic neurites in striatum or amygdala. However, Ndufs4 cKO mice had a reduced amount of dopamine in the brain compared to control mice. Furthermore, even though motor behavior were not affected, Ndufs4 cKO mice showed non-motor symptoms experienced by many Parkinson’s disease patients including impaired cognitive function and increased anxiety-like behavior. These data suggest that mitochondrial complex I dysfunction in dopaminergic neurons promotes non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and reduces dopamine content in the absence of dopamine neuron loss. PMID:28327638

  9. Circadian modulation of dopamine levels and dopaminergic neuron development contributes to attention deficiency and hyperactive behavior.

    PubMed

    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; Wang, Han

    2015-02-11

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Environmental modulations of the number of midbrain dopamine neurons in adult mice.

    PubMed

    Tomas, Doris; Prijanto, Augustinus H; Burrows, Emma L; Hannan, Anthony J; Horne, Malcolm K; Aumann, Tim D

    2015-01-20

    Long-lasting changes in the brain or 'brain plasticity' underlie adaptive behavior and brain repair following disease or injury. Furthermore, interactions with our environment can induce brain plasticity. Increasingly, research is trying to identify which environments stimulate brain plasticity beneficial for treating brain and behavioral disorders. Two environmental manipulations are described which increase or decrease the number of tyrosine hydroxylase immunopositive (TH+, the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine (DA) synthesis) neurons in the adult mouse midbrain. The first comprises pairing male and female mice together continuously for 1 week, which increases midbrain TH+ neurons by approximately 12% in males, but decreases midbrain TH+ neurons by approximately 12% in females. The second comprises housing mice continuously for 2 weeks in 'enriched environments' (EE) containing running wheels, toys, ropes, nesting material, etc., which increases midbrain TH+ neurons by approximately 14% in males. Additionally, a protocol is described for concurrently infusing drugs directly into the midbrain during these environmental manipulations to help identify mechanisms underlying environmentally-induced brain plasticity. For example, EE-induction of more midbrain TH+ neurons is abolished by concurrent blockade of synaptic input onto midbrain neurons. Together, these data indicate that information about the environment is relayed via synaptic input to midbrain neurons to switch on or off expression of 'DA' genes. Thus, appropriate environmental stimulation, or drug targeting of the underlying mechanisms, might be helpful for treating brain and behavioral disorders associated with imbalances in midbrain DA (e.g. Parkinson's disease, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, and drug addiction).

  12. Role for dopamine neurons of the rostral linear nucleus and periaqueductal gray in the rewarding and sensitizing properties of heroin.

    PubMed

    Flores, Juan A; Galan-Rodriguez, Beatriz; Ramiro-Fuentes, Susana; Fernandez-Espejo, Emilio

    2006-07-01

    There is a mesencephalic dopaminergic network outside the ventral tegmental area (VTA), including structures such as the rostral linear nucleus (RLi) and periaqueductal gray (PAG). These nuclei project to neural areas implicated in reinforcing effects of drugs, indicating that they could participate in opiate reward. The objectives were to study the morphological characteristics of the dopamine network of the RLi/PAG region, and to discern its role on rewarding and sensitizing effects of heroin in rats, following dopamine depletion or local injection of dopaminergic antagonists. The findings indicated that this network is composed of small cells in the RLi/ventral PAG, large multipolar dopamine PAG neurons, and periaqueductal PAG neurons. Following repeated heroin, large PAG neurons and small RLi/ventral PAG cells (not periaqueductal neurons) were activated, since tyrosine-hydroxylase was adaptively induced, without changes in protein kinase Aalpha. After dopamine depletion, small RLi/ventral PAG neurons and large cells of the PAG (not periaqueductal ones) were selectively affected by the neurotoxin. Dopamine neurons of the nearby VTA and dorsal raphe were not affected, as revealed by cell counting. After lesion, 'anxiety-like' responses and basal locomotion were not altered. However, conditioned place preference to heroin was found to be abolished, as well as heroin-induced motor sensitization. Following infusions of dopaminergic antagonists into RLi/PAG, D(2) (not D(1)) receptor blocking dose-dependently abolished heroin-induced reward. The present study provides evidence that dopamine neurons of the RLi/PAG region (excluding PAG periaqueductal cells) show adaptive biochemical changes after heroin, and mediate the rewarding and sensitizing effects of this drug. D(2) dopamine receptors within the RLi/PAG region participate in these effects.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  14. Dopamine modulation of transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) receptor in dorsal root ganglia neurons

    PubMed Central

    Chakraborty, Saikat; Rebecchi, Mario; Kaczocha, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Key points Transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) receptors transduce noxious thermal stimuli and are responsible for the thermal hyperalgesia associated with inflammatory pain.A large population of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons, including the C low threshold mechanoreceptors (C‐LTMRs), express tyrosine hydroxylase, and probably release dopamine.We found that dopamine and SKF 81297 (an agonist at D1/D5 receptors), but not quinpirole (an agonist at D2 receptors), downregulate the activity of TRPV1 channels in DRG neurons.The inhibitory effect of SKF 81297 on TRPV1 channels was strongly dependent on external calcium and preferentially linked to calcium–calmodulin‐dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII).We suggest that modulation of TRPV1 channels by dopamine in nociceptive neurons may represent a way for dopamine to modulate incoming noxious stimuli. Abstract The transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) receptor plays a key role in the modulation of nociceptor excitability. To address whether dopamine can modulate the activity of TRPV1 channels in nociceptive neurons, the effects of dopamine and dopamine receptor agonists were tested on the capsaicin‐activated current recorded from acutely dissociated small diameter (<27 μm) dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons. Dopamine or SKF 81297 (an agonist at D1/D5 receptors), caused inhibition of both inward and outward currents by ∼60% and ∼48%, respectively. The effect of SKF 81297 was reversed by SCH 23390 (an antagonist at D1/D5 receptors), confirming that it was mediated by activation of D1/D5 dopamine receptors. In contrast, quinpirole (an agonist at D2 receptors) had no significant effect on the capsaicin‐activated current. Inhibition of the capsaicin‐activated current by SKF 81297 was mediated by G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), and highly dependent on external calcium. The inhibitory effect of SKF 81297 on the capsaicin‐activated current was not affected when

  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.

  16. CHANGES IN THE CONTENT OF ESTROGEN α AND PROGESTERONE RECEPTORS DURING DIFFERENTIATION OF MOUSE EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS TO DOPAMINE NEURONS

    PubMed Central

    Díaz, Néstor F.; Guerra-Arraiza, Christian; Díaz-Martínez, Néstor E.; Salazar, Patricia; Molina-Hernández, Anayansi; Camacho-Arroyo, Ignacio; Velasco, Ivan

    2007-01-01

    Embryonic stem cells (ESC) can differentiate to derivatives of the three embryonic germ layers. Dopamine neurons have been produced from mouse and human ESC. This in vitro induction mimics the developmental program followed by dopaminergic cells in vivo. Production of dopamine neurons might have clinical applications for Parkinson’s disease, which has a higher incidence in men than in women, suggesting a protective role for sex hormones, particularly progesterone and estradiol. These hormones exert many of their effects through the interaction with their nuclear receptors. In this study, we used a described 5-stage protocol for dopamine neuron differentiation of ESC, allowing neuronal commitment as evidenced by specific markers and by behavioural recovery of hemiparkinsonian rats after grafting. We studied the expression of steroid hormone receptors by immunoblot during this procedure and found an increase in the content of both A and B isoforms of progesterone receptor (PR) and a decrease in estrogen receptor α (ER-α) when cells were at the neural/neuronal stages, when compared with the amount found in initial pluripotent conditions. We also found the same pattern of PR and ER-α expression by immunocytochemistry. Ninety-two percent of dopamine neurons expressed progesterone receptors and only 19% of these neurons co-expressed tyrosine hydroxylase and ER-α. These results show a differential expression pattern of ER-α and PR isoforms during neuronal differentiation of ESC. PMID:17499639

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-02

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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 if and how DA neurons are specialized based on 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

  19. Loss of NMDA receptors in dopamine neurons leads to the development of affective disorder-like symptoms in mice

    PubMed Central

    Jastrzębska, Kamila; Walczak, Magdalena; Cieślak, Przemysław Eligiusz; Szumiec, Łukasz; Turbasa, Mateusz; Engblom, David; Błasiak, Tomasz; Parkitna, Jan Rodriguez

    2016-01-01

    The role of changes in dopamine neuronal activity during the development of symptoms in affective disorders remains controversial. Here, we show that inactivation of NMDA receptors on dopaminergic neurons in adult mice led to the development of affective disorder-like symptoms. The loss of NMDA receptors altered activity and caused complete NMDA-insensitivity in dopamine-like neurons. Mutant mice exhibited increased immobility in the forced swim test and a decrease in social interactions. Mutation also led to reduced saccharin intake, however the preference of sweet taste was not significantly decreased. Additionally, we found that while mutant mice were slower to learn instrumental tasks, they were able to reach the same performance levels, had normal sensitivity to feedback and showed similar motivation to exert effort as control animals. Taken together these results show that inducing the loss of NMDA receptor-dependent activity in dopamine neurons is associated with development of affective disorder-like symptoms. PMID:27853270

  20. Androgen decreases dopamine neurone survival in rat midbrain.

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

    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 postnatal 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. 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

  3. Selective 6OHDA-induced destruction of mesolimbic dopamine neurons: abolition of psychostimulant-induced locomotor activity in rats.

    PubMed

    Kelly, P H; Iversen, S D

    1976-11-01

    Selective large scale destruction of mesolimbic dopamine-containing terminals is produced by bilateral injection of 8 mug of 6-hydroxydopamine (6OHDA) into the nucleus accumbens septi (NAS) of rats pretreated with pargyline and desipramine (DMI). The DMI prevents the destruction of the noradrenergic innervation of the forebrain normally produced by the NAS 6OHDA lesion, without affecting the destruction of dopamine-containing neurons. The locomotor stimulation produced by the psychostimulants d-amphetamine (1.5 mg/kg) and cocaine (20 mg/kg) is blocked in rats with selective destruction of the mesolimbic dopamine system. In contrast the locomotor stimulation produced by the directly acting dopamine agonist apomorphine (1.0 mg/kg) is enhanced, which may indicate supersensitivity of the denervated dopamine receptors. These results lend further support to the view that psychostimulant-induced locomotr stimulation in rats results from effects on mesolimbic dopamine neurons. In addition, the protection by DMI of noradrenergic neurons from the toxic effects of 6OHDA is evidence that 6OHDA, as used here, destroys catecholamine neurons mainly by an uptake-dependent specific mechanism.

  4. Opiate anti-nociception is attenuated following lesion of large dopamine neurons of the periaqueductal grey: critical role for D1 (not D2) dopamine receptors.

    PubMed

    Flores, Juan A; El Banoua, Fadwa; Galán-Rodríguez, Beatriz; Fernandez-Espejo, Emilio

    2004-07-01

    The periaqueductal grey (PAG) area is involved in pain modulation as well as in opiate-induced anti-nociceptive effects. The PAG possess dopamine neurons, and it is likely that this dopaminergic network participates in anti-nociception. The objective was to further study the morphology of the PAG dopaminergic network, along with its role in nociception and opiate-induced analgesia in rats, following either dopamine depletion with the toxin 6-hydroxydopamine or local injection of dopaminergic antagonists. Nociceptive responses were studied through the tail-immersion (spinal reflex) and the hot-plate tests (integrated supraspinal response), establishing a cut-off time to further minimize animal suffering. Heroin and morphine were employed as opiates. Histological data indicated that the dopaminergic network of the PAG is composed of two types of neurons: small rounded cells, and large multipolar neurons. Following dopamine depletion of the PAG, large neurons (not small ones) were selectively affected by the toxin (61.9% dopamine cell loss, 80.7% reduction of in vitro dopaminergic peak), and opiate-induced analgesia in the hot-plate test (not the tail-immersion test) was reliably attenuated in lesioned rats (P < 0.01). After infusions of dopaminergic ligands into the PAG, D(1) (not D(2)) receptor antagonism attenuated opiate-induced analgesia in a dose-dependent manner in the hot-plate test. The present study provides evidence that large neurons of the dopaminergic network of the PAG participate in supraspinal (not spinal) nociceptive responses after opiates through the involvement of D(1) dopamine receptors. This dopaminergic system should be included as another network within the PAG involved in opiate-induced anti-nociception.

  5. Replacing Dopamine Neurons in Parkinson's Disease: How did it happen?

    PubMed

    Björklund, Anders; Lindvall, Olle

    2017-01-01

    The efforts to develop a dopamine cell replacement therapy for Parkinson's disease have spanned over more than three decades. Based on almost 10 years of transplantation studies in animal models, the first patients receiving grafts of fetal-derived dopamine neuroblasts were operated in Lund in 1987. Over the following two decades, a total of 18 patients were transplanted and followed closely by our team with mixed but also very encouraging results. In this article we tell the story of how the preclinical and clinical transplantation program in Lund evolved. We recall the excitement when we obtained the first evidence for survival and function of transplanted neurons in the diseased human brain. We also remember the setbacks that we have experienced during these 30 years and discuss the very interesting developments that are now taking place in this exciting field.

  6. Replacing Dopamine Neurons in Parkinson’s Disease: How did it happen?

    PubMed Central

    Björklund, Anders; Lindvall, Olle

    2017-01-01

    The efforts to develop a dopamine cell replacement therapy for Parkinson’s disease have spanned over more than three decades. Based on almost 10 years of transplantation studies in animal models, the first patients receiving grafts of fetal-derived dopamine neuroblasts were operated in Lund in 1987. Over the following two decades, a total of 18 patients were transplanted and followed closely by our team with mixed but also very encouraging results. In this article we tell the story of how the preclinical and clinical transplantation program in Lund evolved. We recall the excitement when we obtained the first evidence for survival and function of transplanted neurons in the diseased human brain. We also remember the setbacks that we have experienced during these 30 years and discuss the very interesting developments that are now taking place in this exciting field. PMID:28282811

  7. 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.

  8. Localization of dopamine D4 receptors in GABAergic neurons of the primate brain.

    PubMed

    Mrzljak, L; Bergson, C; Pappy, M; Huff, R; Levenson, R; Goldman-Rakic, P S

    1996-05-16

    Dopamine receptors are the principal targets of drugs used in the treatment of schizophrenia. Among the five mammalian dopamine-receptor subtypes, the D4 subtype is of particular interest because of its high affinity for the atypical neuroleptic clozapine. Interest in clozapine stems from its effectiveness in reducing positive and negative symptoms in acutely psychotic and treatment-resistant schizophrenic patients without eliciting extrapyramidal side effects. We have produced a subtype-specific antibody against the D4 receptor and localized it within specific cellular elements and synaptic circuits of the central nervous system. The D4-receptor antibody labelled GABAergic neurons in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, thalamic reticular nucleus, globus pallidus and the substantia nigra (pars reticulata). Labelling was also observed in a subset of cortical pyramidal cells. Our findings suggest that clozapine's beneficial effects in schizophrenia may be achieved, in part, through D4-mediated GABA modulation, possibly implicating disinhibition of excitatory transmission in intrinsic cortical, thalamocortical and extrapyramidal pathways.

  9. 6-OHDA injections into A8-A9 dopaminergic neurons modelling early stages of Parkinson's disease increase the harmaline-induced tremor in rats.

    PubMed

    Kolasiewicz, Wacław; Kuter, Katarzyna; Berghauzen, Klemencja; Nowak, Przemysław; Schulze, Gert; Ossowska, Krystyna

    2012-10-05

    The aim of the present study was to examine the influence of a unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced partial lesion of both the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc, A9) and retrorubral field (RRF, A8) on the tremor evoked by harmaline. 6-OHDA (8μg/2μl) was injected unilaterally into the region of the posterior part of the SNc and RRF. Harmaline was administered in a dose of 7.5mg/kg ip on the eighth day after the operation and tremor of forelimbs, head and trunk was measured. We found that the lesion increased intensity of the tremor induced by harmaline but did not influence its character. Stereological examination of the lesion extent revealed losses of dopaminergic (tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive) neurons in the anterior (30%) and posterior (72%) SNc, as well as in RRF (72% on the average). Levels of dopamine and all its metabolites, as well as noradrenaline concentrations, were ipsilaterally moderately decreased in the caudate-putamen in the lesioned animals, however, dopamine and DOPAC in the anterior cerebellum were increased. In the caudate-putamen, the ipsi/contra ratio of dopamine level correlated negatively, while that of dopamine turnover positively with the tremor intensity. However, in the anterior cerebellum an inverse relationship was found. Moreover, this symptom correlated positively with the serotonin level and negatively with the 5-HIAA/serotonin ratio on the contralateral side of the posterior cerebellum. The present results seem to indicate that the modulation of dopaminergic and serotonergic transmissions by the lesion modelling early stages of Parkinson's disease may influence tremor triggered in the cerebellum.

  10. Dopamine regulates distinctively the activity patterns of striatal output neurons in advanced parkinsonian primates

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Arun; Liang, Li; Kaneoke, Yoshiki; Cao, Xuebing

    2014-01-01

    Nigrostriatal dopamine denervation plays a major role in basal ganglia circuitry disarray and motor abnormalities of Parkinson's disease (PD). Studies in rodent and primate models have revealed that striatal projection neurons, namely, medium spiny neurons (MSNs), increase the firing frequency. However, their activity pattern changes and the effects of dopaminergic stimulation in such conditions are unknown. Using single-cell recordings in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-treated primates with advanced parkinsonism, we studied MSN activity patterns in the transition to different motor states following levodopa administration. In the “off” state (baseline parkinsonian disability), a burst-firing pattern accompanied by prolonged silences (pauses) was found in 34% of MSNs, and 80% of these exhibited a levodopa response compatible with dopamine D1 receptor activation (direct pathway MSNs). This pattern was highly responsive to levodopa given that bursting/pausing almost disappeared in the “on” state (reversal of parkinsonism after levodopa injection), although this led to higher firing rates. Nonbursty MSNs fired irregularly with marked pausing that increased in the on state in the MSN subset with a levodopa response compatible with dopamine D2 receptor activation (indirect pathway MSNs), although the pause increase was not sustained in some units during the appearance of dyskinesias. Data indicate that the MSN firing pattern in the advanced parkinsonian monkey is altered by bursting and pausing changes and that dopamine differentially and inefficiently regulates these behaviorally correlated patterns in MSN subpopulations. These findings may contribute to understand the impact of striatal dysfunction in the basal ganglia network and its role in motor symptoms of PD. PMID:25505120

  11. Human ESC-derived dopamine neurons show similar preclinical efficacy and potency to fetal neurons when grafted in a rat model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Grealish, Shane; Diguet, Elsa; Kirkeby, Agnete; Mattsson, Bengt; Heuer, Andreas; Bramoulle, Yann; Van Camp, Nadja; Perrier, Anselme L; Hantraye, Philippe; Björklund, Anders; Parmar, Malin

    2014-11-06

    Considerable progress has been made in generating fully functional and transplantable dopamine neurons from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Before these cells can be used for cell replacement therapy in Parkinson's disease (PD), it is important to verify their functional properties and efficacy in animal models. Here we provide a comprehensive preclinical assessment of hESC-derived midbrain dopamine neurons in a rat model of PD. We show long-term survival and functionality using clinically relevant MRI and PET imaging techniques and demonstrate efficacy in restoration of motor function with a potency comparable to that seen with human fetal dopamine neurons. Furthermore, we show that hESC-derived dopamine neurons can project sufficiently long distances for use in humans, fully regenerate midbrain-to-forebrain projections, and innervate correct target structures. This provides strong preclinical support for clinical translation of hESC-derived dopamine neurons using approaches similar to those established with fetal cells for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Human ESC-Derived Dopamine Neurons Show Similar Preclinical Efficacy and Potency to Fetal Neurons when Grafted in a Rat Model of Parkinson’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Grealish, Shane; Diguet, Elsa; Kirkeby, Agnete; Mattsson, Bengt; Heuer, Andreas; Bramoulle, Yann; Van Camp, Nadja; Perrier, Anselme L.; Hantraye, Philippe; Björklund, Anders; Parmar, Malin

    2014-01-01

    Summary Considerable progress has been made in generating fully functional and transplantable dopamine neurons from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Before these cells can be used for cell replacement therapy in Parkinson’s disease (PD), it is important to verify their functional properties and efficacy in animal models. Here we provide a comprehensive preclinical assessment of hESC-derived midbrain dopamine neurons in a rat model of PD. We show long-term survival and functionality using clinically relevant MRI and PET imaging techniques and demonstrate efficacy in restoration of motor function with a potency comparable to that seen with human fetal dopamine neurons. Furthermore, we show that hESC-derived dopamine neurons can project sufficiently long distances for use in humans, fully regenerate midbrain-to-forebrain projections, and innervate correct target structures. This provides strong preclinical support for clinical translation of hESC-derived dopamine neurons using approaches similar to those established with fetal cells for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. PMID:25517469

  13. Recovery From Experimental Parkinsonism by Semaphorin-guided Axonal Growth of Grafted Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  14. Caloric Restriction Protects against Lactacystin-Induced Degeneration of Dopamine Neurons Independent of the Ghrelin Receptor.

    PubMed

    Coppens, Jessica; Bentea, Eduard; Bayliss, Jacqueline A; Demuyser, Thomas; Walrave, Laura; Albertini, Giulia; Van Liefferinge, Joeri; Deneyer, Lauren; Aourz, Najat; Van Eeckhaut, Ann; Portelli, Jeanelle; Andrews, Zane B; Massie, Ann; De Bundel, Dimitri; Smolders, Ilse

    2017-03-04

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by a loss of dopamine (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). Caloric restriction (CR) has been shown to exert ghrelin-dependent neuroprotective effects in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrathydropyridine (MPTP)-based animal model for PD. We here investigated whether CR is neuroprotective in the lactacystin (LAC) mouse model for PD, in which proteasome disruption leads to the destruction of the DA neurons of the SNc, and whether this effect is mediated via the ghrelin receptor. Adult male ghrelin receptor wildtype (WT) and knockout (KO) mice were maintained on an ad libitum (AL) diet or on a 30% CR regimen. After 3 weeks, LAC was injected unilaterally into the SNc, and the degree of DA neuron degeneration was evaluated 1 week later. In AL mice, LAC injection significanty reduced the number of DA neurons and striatal DA concentrations. CR protected against DA neuron degeneration following LAC injection. However, no differences were observed between ghrelin receptor WT and KO mice. These results indicate that CR can protect the nigral DA neurons from toxicity related to proteasome disruption; however, the ghrelin receptor is not involved in this effect.

  15. Dopamine neurons code subjective sensory experience and uncertainty of perceptual decisions

    PubMed Central

    de Lafuente, Victor; Romo, Ranulfo

    2011-01-01

    Midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons respond to sensory stimuli associated with future rewards. When reward is delivered probabilistically, DA neurons reflect this uncertainty by increasing their firing rates in a period between the sensory cue and reward delivery time. Probability of reward, however, has been externally conveyed by visual cues, and it is not known whether DA neurons would signal uncertainty arising internally. Here we show that DA neurons code the uncertainty associated with a perceptual judgment about the presence or absence of a vibrotactile stimulus. We observed that uncertainty modulates the activity elicited by a go cue instructing monkey subjects to communicate their decisions. That is, the same go cue generates different DA responses depending on the uncertainty level of a judgment made a few seconds before the go instruction. Easily detected suprathreshold stimuli elicit small DA responses, indicating that future reward will not be a surprising event. In contrast, the absence of a sensory stimulus generates large DA responses associated with uncertainty: was the stimulus truly absent, or did a low-amplitude vibration go undetected? In addition, the responses of DA neurons to the stimulus itself increase with vibration amplitude, but only when monkeys correctly detect its presence. This finding suggests that DA activity is not related to actual intensity but rather to perceived intensity. Therefore, in addition to their well-known role in reward prediction, DA neurons code subjective sensory experience and uncertainty arising internally from perceptual decisions. PMID:22106310

  16. 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.

  17. Caloric Restriction Protects against Lactacystin-Induced Degeneration of Dopamine Neurons Independent of the Ghrelin Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Coppens, Jessica; Bentea, Eduard; Bayliss, Jacqueline A.; Demuyser, Thomas; Walrave, Laura; Albertini, Giulia; Van Liefferinge, Joeri; Deneyer, Lauren; Aourz, Najat; Van Eeckhaut, Ann; Portelli, Jeanelle; Andrews, Zane B.; Massie, Ann; De Bundel, Dimitri; Smolders, Ilse

    2017-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by a loss of dopamine (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). Caloric restriction (CR) has been shown to exert ghrelin-dependent neuroprotective effects in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrathydropyridine (MPTP)-based animal model for PD. We here investigated whether CR is neuroprotective in the lactacystin (LAC) mouse model for PD, in which proteasome disruption leads to the destruction of the DA neurons of the SNc, and whether this effect is mediated via the ghrelin receptor. Adult male ghrelin receptor wildtype (WT) and knockout (KO) mice were maintained on an ad libitum (AL) diet or on a 30% CR regimen. After 3 weeks, LAC was injected unilaterally into the SNc, and the degree of DA neuron degeneration was evaluated 1 week later. In AL mice, LAC injection significanty reduced the number of DA neurons and striatal DA concentrations. CR protected against DA neuron degeneration following LAC injection. However, no differences were observed between ghrelin receptor WT and KO mice. These results indicate that CR can protect the nigral DA neurons from toxicity related to proteasome disruption; however, the ghrelin receptor is not involved in this effect. PMID:28273852

  18. Multiphasic Temporal Dynamics in Responses of Midbrain Dopamine Neurons to Appetitive and Aversive Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Fiorillo, Christopher D.; Song, Minryung R.; Yun, Sora R.

    2013-01-01

    The transient response of dopamine neurons has been described as reward prediction error (RPE), with activation or suppression by events that are better or worse than expected, respectively. However, at least a minority of neurons are activated by aversive or high-intensity stimuli, casting doubt on the generality of RPE in describing the dopamine signal. To overcome limitations of previous studies, we studied neuronal responses to a wider variety of high-intensity and aversive stimuli, and we quantified and controlled aversiveness through a choice task in which macaques sacrificed juice to avoid aversive stimuli. Whereas most previous work has portrayed the RPE as a single impulse or “phase,” here we demonstrate its multiphasic temporal dynamics. Aversive or high-intensity stimuli evoked a triphasic sequence of activation-suppression-activation extending over a period of 40–700 ms. The initial activation at short latencies (40–120 ms) reflected sensory intensity.The influence of motivational value became dominant between 150 and 250 ms, with activation in the case of appetitive stimuli, and suppression in the case of aversive and neutral stimuli. The previously unreported late activation appeared to be a modest “rebound” after strong suppression. Similarly, strong activation by reward was often followed by suppression. We suggest that these “rebounds” may result from overcompensation by homeostatic mechanisms in some cells. Our results are consistent with a realistic RPE, which evolves over time through a dynamic balance of excitation and inhibition PMID:23486944

  19. 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

  20. Gene expression profile of activated microglia under conditions associated with dopamine neuronal damage.

    PubMed

    Thomas, David M; Francescutti-Verbeem, Dina M; Kuhn, Donald M

    2006-03-01

    Microglia are the resident antigen-presenting cells within the central nervous system (CNS), and they serve immune-like functions in protecting the brain against injury and invading pathogens. By contrast, activated microglia can secrete numerous reactants that damage neurons. The pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative diseases has been associated with microglial activation, but the signaling pathways that program a neuronally protective or destructive phenotype in microglia are not known. To increase the understanding of microglial activation, microarray analysis was used to profile the transcriptome of BV-2 microglial cells after activation. Microglia were activated by lipopolysaccharide, the HIV neurotoxic protein TAT, and dopamine quinone, each of which has been linked to dopamine neuronal damage. We identified 210 of 9882 genes whose expression was differentially regulated by all activators (116 increased and 94 decreased in expression). Gene ontology analysis assigned up-regulated genes to a number of specific biological processes and molecular functions, including immune response, inflammation, and cytokine/chemokine activity. Genes down-regulated in expression contribute to conditions that are permissive of microglial migration, lowered adhesion to matrix, lessened phagocytosis, and reduction in receptors that oppose chemotaxis and inflammation. These results elaborate a broad profile of microglial genes whose expression is altered by conditions associated with both neurodegenerative diseases and microglial activation.

  1. Concentration-dependent activation of dopamine receptors differentially modulates GABA release onto orexin neurons

    PubMed Central

    Linehan, Victoria; Trask, Robert B.; Briggs, Chantalle; Rowe, Todd M.; Hirasawa, Michiru

    2017-01-01

    Dopamine (DA) and orexin neurons play important roles in reward and food intake. There are anatomical and functional connections between these two cell groups, where orexin peptides stimulate DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area and DA inhibits orexin neurons in the hypothalamus. However, the cellular mechanisms underlying DA action on orexin neurons remain incompletely understood. Therefore, the effect of DA on inhibitory transmission to orexin neurons was investigated in rat brain slices using whole cell patch clamp technique. We found that DA modulated the frequency of spontaneous and miniature IPSCs (mIPSCs) in a concentration dependent, bidirectional manner. Low (1 μM) and high concentrations (100 μM) of DA decreased and increased IPSC frequency, respectively. These effects did not accompany a change in mIPSC amplitude and persisted in the presence of G protein signaling inhibitor GDPβS in the pipette, suggesting that DA acts presynaptically. The decrease in mIPSC frequency was mediated by D2 receptors, whereas the increase required co-activation of D1 and D2 receptors and subsequent activation of phospholipase C. In summary, our results suggest that DA has complex effects on GABAergic transmission to orexin neurons, involving cooperation of multiple receptor subtypes. The direction of dopaminergic influence on orexin neurons is dependent on the level of DA in the hypothalamus. At low levels DA disinhibits orexin neurons whereas at high levels it facilitates GABA release, which may act as negative feedback to curb the excitatory orexinergic output to DA neurons. These mechanisms may have implications for consummatory and motivated behaviours. PMID:26036709

  2. Concentration-dependent activation of dopamine receptors differentially modulates GABA release onto orexin neurons.

    PubMed

    Linehan, Victoria; Trask, Robert B; Briggs, Chantalle; Rowe, Todd M; Hirasawa, Michiru

    2015-08-01

    Dopamine (DA) and orexin neurons play important roles in reward and food intake. There are anatomical and functional connections between these two cell groups: orexin peptides stimulate DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area and DA inhibits orexin neurons in the hypothalamus. However, the cellular mechanisms underlying the action of DA on orexin neurons remain incompletely understood. Therefore, the effect of DA on inhibitory transmission to orexin neurons was investigated in rat brain slices using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. We found that DA modulated the frequency of spontaneous and miniature IPSCs (mIPSCs) in a concentration-dependent bidirectional manner. Low (1 μM) and high (100 μM) concentrations of DA decreased and increased IPSC frequency, respectively. These effects did not accompany a change in mIPSC amplitude and persisted in the presence of G-protein signaling inhibitor GDPβS in the pipette, suggesting that DA acts presynaptically. The decrease in mIPSC frequency was mediated by D2 receptors whereas the increase required co-activation of D1 and D2 receptors and subsequent activation of phospholipase C. In summary, our results suggest that DA has complex effects on GABAergic transmission to orexin neurons, involving cooperation of multiple receptor subtypes. The direction of dopaminergic influence on orexin neurons is dependent on the level of DA in the hypothalamus. At low levels DA disinhibits orexin neurons whereas at high levels it facilitates GABA release, which may act as negative feedback to curb the excitatory orexinergic output to DA neurons. These mechanisms may have implications for consummatory and motivated behaviours.

  3. BDNF interacts with endocannabinoids to regulate cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity in mouse midbrain dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Peng; Liu, Yong; Hu, Ying; Wang, Tong; Zhao, Yong-ping; Liu, Qing-song

    2015-03-11

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and endocannabinoids (eCBs) have been individually implicated in behavioral effects of cocaine. The present study examined how BDNF-eCB interaction regulates cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity in the ventral tegmental area and behavioral effects. We report that BDNF and selective tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB) agonist 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (DHF) activated the TrkB receptor to facilitate two forms of eCB-mediated synaptic depression, depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition (DSI), and long-term depression (I-LTD) of IPSCs in ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons in mouse midbrain slices. The facilitation appears to be mediated by an increase in eCB production via phospholipase Cγ pathway, but not by an increase in CB1 receptor responsiveness or a decrease in eCB hydrolysis. Using Cre-loxP technology to specifically delete BDNF in dopamine neurons, we showed that eCB-mediated I-LTD, cocaine-induced reduction of GABAergic inhibition, and potentiation of glutamatergic excitation remained intact in wild-type control mice, but were impaired in BDNF conditional knock-out mice. We also showed that cocaine-induced conditioned place preference was attenuated in BDNF conditional knock-out mice, in vivo pretreatments with DHF before place conditioning restored cocaine conditioned place preference in these mice, and the behavioral effect of DHF was blocked by a CB₁ receptor antagonist. Together, these results suggest that BDNF in dopamine neurons regulates eCB responses, cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity, and associative learning. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/354469-13$15.00/0.

  4. BDNF Interacts with Endocannabinoids to Regulate Cocaine-Induced Synaptic Plasticity in Mouse Midbrain Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, Peng; Liu, Yong; Hu, Ying; Wang, Tong; Zhao, Yong-ping

    2015-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and endocannabinoids (eCBs) have been individually implicated in behavioral effects of cocaine. The present study examined how BDNF-eCB interaction regulates cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity in the ventral tegmental area and behavioral effects. We report that BDNF and selective tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB) agonist 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (DHF) activated the TrkB receptor to facilitate two forms of eCB-mediated synaptic depression, depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition (DSI), and long-term depression (I-LTD) of IPSCs in ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons in mouse midbrain slices. The facilitation appears to be mediated by an increase in eCB production via phospholipase Cγ pathway, but not by an increase in CB1 receptor responsiveness or a decrease in eCB hydrolysis. Using Cre-loxP technology to specifically delete BDNF in dopamine neurons, we showed that eCB-mediated I-LTD, cocaine-induced reduction of GABAergic inhibition, and potentiation of glutamatergic excitation remained intact in wild-type control mice, but were impaired in BDNF conditional knock-out mice. We also showed that cocaine-induced conditioned place preference was attenuated in BDNF conditional knock-out mice, in vivo pretreatments with DHF before place conditioning restored cocaine conditioned place preference in these mice, and the behavioral effect of DHF was blocked by a CB1 receptor antagonist. Together, these results suggest that BDNF in dopamine neurons regulates eCB responses, cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity, and associative learning. PMID:25762688

  5. Species differences in somatodendritic dopamine transmission determine D2-autoreceptor mediated inhibition of ventral tegmental area neuron firing

    PubMed Central

    Courtney, Nicholas A; Mamaligas, Aphroditi A; Ford, Christopher P

    2012-01-01

    The somatodendritic release of dopamine within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) activates inhibitory post-synaptic D2-receptors on dopaminergic neurons. The proposed mechanisms that regulate this form of transmission differ between electrochemical studies using rats and guinea pigs and electrophysiological studies using mice. This study examines the release and resulting dopamine D2-autoreceptor mediated inhibitory post-synaptic currents (D2-IPSCs) in the VTA of mouse, rat and guinea pig. Robust D2-IPSCs were observed in all recordings from neurons in slices taken from mouse, whereas in rat and guinea pig D2-IPSCs were observed less frequently and were significantly smaller in amplitude. In slices taken from guinea pig, dopamine release was more persistent under conditions of reduced extracellular calcium. The decline in the concentration of dopamine was also prolonged and not as sensitive to inhibition of reuptake by cocaine. This resulted in an increased duration of D2-IPSCs in the guinea pig. Therefore, unlike the mouse or the rat, the time course of dopamine in the extracellular space of the guinea pig determined the duration the D2-IPSC. Functionally, differences in D2-IPSCs resulted in inhibition of dopamine neuron firing only in slices from mouse. The results suggest that the mechanisms and functional consequences of somatodendritic dopamine transmission in the VTA vary among species. This highlights the complexity that underlies dopamine dependent transmission in one brain area. Differences in somatodendritic transmission would be expected in vivo to affect the downstream activity of the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system and subsequent terminal release. PMID:23015441

  6. AAV Vector-Mediated Gene Delivery to Substantia Nigra Dopamine Neurons: Implications for Gene Therapy and Disease Models

    PubMed Central

    Albert, Katrina; Voutilainen, Merja H.; Domanskyi, Andrii; Airavaara, Mikko

    2017-01-01

    Gene delivery using adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors is a widely used method to transduce neurons in the brain, especially due to its safety, efficacy, and long-lasting expression. In addition, by varying AAV serotype, promotor, and titer, it is possible to affect the cell specificity of expression or the expression levels of the protein of interest. Dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra projecting to the striatum, comprising the nigrostriatal pathway, are involved in movement control and degenerate in Parkinson’s disease. AAV-based gene targeting to the projection area of these neurons in the striatum has been studied extensively to induce the production of neurotrophic factors for disease-modifying therapies for Parkinson’s disease. Much less emphasis has been put on AAV-based gene therapy targeting dopamine neurons in substantia nigra. We will review the literature related to targeting striatum and/or substantia nigra dopamine neurons using AAVs in order to express neuroprotective and neurorestorative molecules, as well as produce animal disease models of Parkinson’s disease. We discuss difficulties in targeting substantia nigra dopamine neurons and their vulnerability to stress in general. Therefore, choosing a proper control for experimental work is not trivial. Since the axons along the nigrostriatal tract are the first to degenerate in Parkinson’s disease, the location to deliver the therapy must be carefully considered. We also review studies using AAV-α-synuclein (α-syn) to target substantia nigra dopamine neurons to produce an α-syn overexpression disease model in rats. Though these studies are able to produce mild dopamine system degeneration in the striatum and substantia nigra and some behavioural effects, there are studies pointing to the toxicity of AAV-carrying green fluorescent protein (GFP), which is often used as a control. Therefore, we discuss the potential difficulties in overexpressing proteins in general in the substantia

  7. AAV Vector-Mediated Gene Delivery to Substantia Nigra Dopamine Neurons: Implications for Gene Therapy and Disease Models.

    PubMed

    Albert, Katrina; Voutilainen, Merja H; Domanskyi, Andrii; Airavaara, Mikko

    2017-02-08

    Gene delivery using adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors is a widely used method to transduce neurons in the brain, especially due to its safety, efficacy, and long-lasting expression. In addition, by varying AAV serotype, promotor, and titer, it is possible to affect the cell specificity of expression or the expression levels of the protein of interest. Dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra projecting to the striatum, comprising the nigrostriatal pathway, are involved in movement control and degenerate in Parkinson's disease. AAV-based gene targeting to the projection area of these neurons in the striatum has been studied extensively to induce the production of neurotrophic factors for disease-modifying therapies for Parkinson's disease. Much less emphasis has been put on AAV-based gene therapy targeting dopamine neurons in substantia nigra. We will review the literature related to targeting striatum and/or substantia nigra dopamine neurons using AAVs in order to express neuroprotective and neurorestorative molecules, as well as produce animal disease models of Parkinson's disease. We discuss difficulties in targeting substantia nigra dopamine neurons and their vulnerability to stress in general. Therefore, choosing a proper control for experimental work is not trivial. Since the axons along the nigrostriatal tract are the first to degenerate in Parkinson's disease, the location to deliver the therapy must be carefully considered. We also review studies using AAV-a-synuclein (a-syn) to target substantia nigra dopamine neurons to produce an α-syn overexpression disease model in rats. Though these studies are able to produce mild dopamine system degeneration in the striatum and substantia nigra and some behavioural effects, there are studies pointing to the toxicity of AAV-carrying green fluorescent protein (GFP), which is often used as a control. Therefore, we discuss the potential difficulties in overexpressing proteins in general in the substantia nigra.

  8. 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

  9. Neuronal Activity in the Subthalamic Nucleus Modulates the Release of Dopamine in the Monkey Striatum

    PubMed Central

    Shimo, Yasushi; Wichmann, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    The primate subthalamic nucleus (STN) is commonly seen as a relay nucleus between the external and internal pallidal segments, and as an input station for cortical and thalamic information into the basal ganglia. In rodents, STN activity is also known to influence neuronal activity in the dopaminergic substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) through inhibitory and excitatory mono- and polysynaptic pathways. Although the anatomical connections between STN and SNc are not entirely the same in primates as in rodents, the electrophysiologic and microdialysis experiments presented here show directly that this functional interaction can also be demonstrated in primates. In three Rhesus monkeys, extracellular recordings from SNc during microinjections into the STN revealed that transient pharmacologic activation of the subthalamic nucleus by the acetylcholine-receptor agonist carbachol substantially increased burst firing of single nigral neurons. Transient inactivation of the STN with microinjections of the GABA-A-receptor agonist muscimol had the opposite effect. While the firing rates of individual SNc neurons changed in response to the activation or inactivation of the STN, these changes were not consistent across the entire population of SNc cells. Permanent lesions of the STN, produced in two animals with the fiber-sparing neurotoxin ibotenic acid, reduced burst firing and firing rates of SNc neurons, and substantially decreased dopamine levels in the primary recipient area of SNc projections, the striatum, as measured with microdialysis. These results suggest that activity in the primate SNc is prominently influenced by neuronal discharge in the STN, which may thus alter dopamine release in the striatum. PMID:19087163

  10. Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress as a Mediator of Neurotoxin-Induced Dopamine Neuron Death

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-07-01

    mediators of an ER stress response in PC12 cells: ATF4, CHOP, BiP, phosphorylated PERK and others (3). A similar induction was noted on treatment of the cells...neurons derived from mice null for PERK , a mediator of a protective pathway in ER stress, were more sensitive to 6OHDA (3). Very similar findings were...they are not (Macaya et al. 1994;Kelly and Burke 1996; Stefanis and Burke 1996). Therefore, during this postnatal period, the death of SN dopamine

  11. Understanding the susceptibility of dopamine neurons to mitochondrial stressors in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Haddad, Dominik; Nakamura, Ken

    2015-12-21

    Mitochondria are undoubtedly changed in Parkinson's disease (PD), and mitochondrial functions are disrupted in genetic and pharmacologic models of PD. However, many of these changes might not truly drive neurodegeneration. PD is defined by the particular susceptibility of nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) neurons, but little is understood about the mitochondria in these cells. Here, we critically review the evidence that mitochondrial stressors cause PD. We then consider how changes in the intrinsic function of mitochondria and in their mass, distribution, and dynamics might synergize with an increased need for mitochondria and produce PD, and the importance of understanding how mitochondria contribute to its pathogenesis.

  12. Understanding the susceptibility of dopamine neurons to mitochondrial stressors in Parkinson’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Haddad, Dominik; Nakamura, Ken

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondria are undoubtedly changed in Parkinson’s disease (PD), and mitochondrial functions are disrupted in genetic and pharmacologic models of PD. However, many of these changes might not truly drive neurodegeneration. PD is defined by the particular susceptibility of nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) neurons, but little is understood about the mitochondria in these cells. Here, we critically review the evidence that mitochondrial stressors cause PD. We then consider how changes in the intrinsic function of mitochondria and in their mass, distribution, and dynamics might synergize with an increased need for mitochondria and produce PD, and the importance of understanding how mitochondria contribute to its pathogenesis. PMID:26526613

  13. Partial lesion of dopamine neurons of rat substantia nigra impairs conditioned place aversion but spares conditioned place preference.

    PubMed

    Lima, Bernardo F C; Ramos, Daniele C; Barbiero, Janaína K; Pulido, Laura; Redgrave, Peter; Robinson, Donita L; Gómez-A, Alexander; Da Cunha, Claudio

    2017-05-04

    Midbrain dopamine neurons play critical roles in reward- and aversion-driven associative learning. However, it is not clear whether they do this by a common mechanism or by separate mechanisms that can be dissociated. In the present study we addressed this question by testing whether a partial lesion of the dopamine neurons of the rat SNc has comparable effects on conditioned place preference (CPP) learning and conditioned place aversion (CPA) learning. Partial lesions of dopamine neurons in the rat substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) induced by bilateral intranigral infusion of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA, 3μg/side) or 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP, 200μg/side) impaired learning of conditioned place aversion (CPA) without affecting conditioned place preference (CPP) learning. Control experiments demonstrated that these lesions did not impair motor performance and did not alter the hedonic value of the sucrose and quinine. The number of dopamine neurons in the caudal part of the SNc positively correlated with the CPP scores of the 6-OHDA rats and negatively correlated with CPA scores of the SHAM rats. In addition, the CPA scores of the 6-OHDA rats positively correlated with the tissue content of striatal dopamine. Insomuch as reward-driven learning depends on an increase in dopamine release by nigral neurons, these findings show that this mechanism is functional even in rats with a partial lesion of the SNc. On the other hand, if aversion-driven learning depends on a reduction of extracellular dopamine in the striatum, the present study suggests that this mechanism is no longer functional after the partial SNc lesion.

  14. A subset of ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons responds to acute ethanol.

    PubMed

    Mrejeru, A; Martí-Prats, L; Avegno, E M; Harrison, N L; Sulzer, D

    2015-04-02

    The mechanisms by which alcohol drinking promotes addiction in humans and self-administration in rodents remain obscure, but it is well known that alcohol can enhance dopamine (DA) neurotransmission from neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and increase DA levels within the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex. We recorded from identified DA neuronal cell bodies within ventral midbrain slices prepared from a transgenic mouse line (TH-GFP) using long-term stable extracellular recordings in a variety of locations and carefully mapped the responses to applied ethanol (EtOH). We identified a subset of DA neurons in the medial VTA located within the rostral linear and interfascicular nuclei that fired spontaneously and exhibited a concentration-dependent increase of firing frequency in response to EtOH, with some neurons responsive to as little as 20mM EtOH. Many of these medial VTA DA neurons were also insensitive to the D2 receptor agonist quinpirole. In contrast, DA neurons in the lateral VTA (located within the parabrachial pigmented and paranigral nuclei) were either unresponsive or responded only to 100mM EtOH. Typically, these lateral VTA DA cells had very slow firing rates, and all exhibited inhibition by quinpirole via D2 "autoreceptors". VTA non-DA cells did not show any significant response to low levels of EtOH. These findings are consistent with evidence for heterogeneity among midbrain DA neurons and provide an anatomical and pharmacological distinction between DA neuron sub-populations that will facilitate future mechanistic studies on the actions of EtOH in the VTA. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. A SUBSET OF VENTRAL TEGMENTAL AREA DOPAMINE NEURONS RESPONDS TO ACUTE ETHANOL

    PubMed Central

    MREJERU, A.; MARTIÍ-PRATS, L.; AVEGNO, E. M.; HARRISON, N. L.; SULZER, D.

    2015-01-01

    The mechanisms by which alcohol drinking promotes addiction in humans and self-administration in rodents remain obscure, but it is well known that alcohol can enhance dopamine (DA) neurotransmission from neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and increase DA levels within the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex. We recorded from identified DA neuronal cell bodies within ventral midbrain slices prepared from a transgenic mouse line (TH-GFP) using long-term stable extracellular recordings in a variety of locations and carefully mapped the responses to applied ethanol (EtOH). We identified a subset of DA neurons in the medial VTA located within the rostral linear and interfascicular nuclei that fired spontaneously and exhibited a concentration-dependent increase of firing frequency in response to EtOH, with some neurons responsive to as little as 20 mM EtOH. Many of these medial VTA DA neurons were also insensitive to the D2 receptor agonist quinpirole. In contrast, DA neurons in the lateral VTA (located within the parabrachial pigmented and paranigral nuclei) were either unresponsive or responded only to 100 mM EtOH. Typically, these lateral VTA DA cells had very slow firing rates, and all exhibited inhibition by quinpirole via D2 “autoreceptors”. VTA non-DA cells did not show any significant response to low levels of EtOH. These findings are consistent with evidence for heterogeneity among midbrain DA neurons and provide an anatomical and pharmacological distinction between DA neuron sub-populations that will facilitate future mechanistic studies on the actions of EtOH in the VTA. PMID:25660505

  16. 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

  17. Changes in neuronal dopamine homeostasis following 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) exposure.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-13

    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. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  18. Estrogen regulates responses of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area to cocaine.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Die; Yang, Shen; Yang, Chunhao; Jin, Guozhang; Zhen, Xuechu

    2008-09-01

    Sex differences in cocaine abuse have been well documented. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. To explore the potential role of ovarian hormones in the regulation of dopamine (DA) neuron firing activity in ventral tegmental area (VTA) induced by acute cocaine in intact female or ovariectomized (OVX) rats. The basal firing activity of VTA DA neurons was changed in a manner phase-locked to the estrous cycle: being highest in estrus and lowest in proestrus. Acute cocaine produced greater inhibition (P < 0.05) on the firing of VTA DA neurons during proestrus than during estrus. The inhibitory effect was completely blocked by OVX and restored by replacement of 17-beta-estradiol or, to a less extent, by replacement of progesterone. In addition, we also detected female hormone-associated changes in slow oscillation in VTA DA neurons. The results indicate that ovarian hormones, particularly estrogen, not only synergize with the inhibitory effect of cocaine on VTA DA neuron activity but also play an essential role in maintaining the sensitivity of DA neurons to cocaine-mediated inhibition on firing. Moreover, pretreatment of estrogen receptor (ER) antagonist raloxifene or a selective ERalpha antagonist Y134 largely attenuated the cocaine-inhibited DA neuron firing. We also found that cocaine-induced locomotor activity was estrous cycle dependent; 17-beta-estradiol but not progesterone replacement restored the cocaine-induced locomotor activity in OVX rats. The present results demonstrated that ovarian hormones, particularly estrogen, produce profound effect on VTA DA neuron activity, which, in turn, may contribute to the sex differences in response to psychostimulants.

  19. Estradiol promotes proliferation of dopaminergic precursors resulting in a higher proportion of dopamine neurons derived from mouse embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Díaz, Néstor F; Díaz-Martínez, Néstor E; Camacho-Arroyo, Ignacio; Velasco, Iván

    2009-08-01

    Estradiol protects dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra from toxic insults. Such neurons succumb in Parkinson's disease; one strategy for restoring dopamine deficiency is cell therapy with neurons differentiated from embryonic stem cells. We investigated the effects of 17beta-estradiol on dopaminergic induction of embryonic stem cells using the 5-stage protocol. Cells were incubated with different steroid concentrations during the proliferation (stage 4) or differentiation (stage 5) phases. Estradiol added at nM concentrations only during stage 4 increases the proliferation of dopaminergic precursors expressing Lmx1a, inducing a higher proportion of dopamine neurons at stage 5. These actions were mediated by activation of estrogen receptors, because co-incubation of cells with estradiol and ICI 182,780 completely abolished the positive effect on both proliferation of committed precursors, and subsequent differentiation to dopaminergic neurons. Our results suggest that estradiol should be useful in producing higher proportions of dopamine neurons from embryonic stem cells aimed for treating Parkinson's disease.

  20. Estradiol promotes proliferation of dopaminergic precursors resulting in a higher proportion of dopamine neurons derived from mouse embryonic stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Díaz, Néstor F.; Díaz-Martínez, Néstor E.; Camacho-Arroyo, Ignacio; Velasco, Iván

    2009-01-01

    Estradiol protects dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra from toxic insults. Such neurons succumb in Parkinson’s disease; one strategy for restoring dopamine deficiency is cell therapy with neurons differentiated from embryonic stem cells. We investigated the effects of 17β-estradiol on dopaminergic induction of embryonic stem cells using the 5-stage protocol. Cells were incubated with different steroid concentrations during the proliferation (stage 4) or differentiation (stage 5) phases. Estradiol added at nM concentrations only during stage 4 increases the proliferation of dopaminergic precursors expressing Lmx1a, inducing a higher proportion of dopamine neurons at stage 5. These actions were mediated by activation of estrogen receptors, because co-incubation of cells with estradiol and ICI 182,780 completely abolished the positive effect on both proliferation of committed precursors, and subsequent differentiation to dopaminergic neurons. Our results suggest that estradiol should be useful to produce higher proportions of dopamine neurons from embryonic stem cells aimed for treating Parkinson’s disease. PMID:19379802

  1. Cav1.3 channels control D2-autoreceptor responses via NCS-1 in substantia nigra dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Dragicevic, Elena; Poetschke, Christina; Duda, Johanna; Schlaudraff, Falk; Lammel, Stephan; Schiemann, Julia; Fauler, Michael; Hetzel, Andrea; Watanabe, Masahiko; Lujan, Rafael; Malenka, Robert C.; Striessnig, Joerg

    2014-01-01

    Dopamine midbrain neurons within the substantia nigra are particularly prone to degeneration in Parkinson’s disease. Their selective loss causes the major motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but the causes for the high vulnerability of SN DA neurons, compared to neighbouring, more resistant ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons, are still unclear. Consequently, there is still no cure available for Parkinson’s disease. Current therapies compensate the progressive loss of dopamine by administering its precursor l-DOPA and/or dopamine D2-receptor agonists. D2-autoreceptors and Cav1.3-containing L-type Ca2+ channels both contribute to Parkinson’s disease pathology. L-type Ca2+ channel blockers protect SN DA neurons from degeneration in Parkinson’s disease and its mouse models, and they are in clinical trials for neuroprotective Parkinson’s disease therapy. However, their physiological functions in SN DA neurons remain unclear. D2-autoreceptors tune firing rates and dopamine release of SN DA neurons in a negative feedback loop through activation of G-protein coupled potassium channels (GIRK2, or KCNJ6). Mature SN DA neurons display prominent, non-desensitizing somatodendritic D2-autoreceptor responses that show pronounced desensitization in PARK-gene Parkinson’s disease mouse models. We analysed surviving human SN DA neurons from patients with Parkinson’s disease and from controls, and detected elevated messenger RNA levels of D2-autoreceptors and GIRK2 in Parkinson’s disease. By electrophysiological analysis of postnatal juvenile and adult mouse SN DA neurons in in vitro brain-slices, we observed that D2-autoreceptor desensitization is reduced with postnatal maturation. Furthermore, a transient high-dopamine state in vivo, caused by one injection of either l-DOPA or cocaine, induced adult-like, non-desensitizing D2-autoreceptor responses, selectively in juvenile SN DA neurons, but not ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons. With pharmacological

  2. Nifedipine prevents iron accumulation and reverses iron-overload-induced dopamine neuron degeneration in the substantia nigra of rats.

    PubMed

    Ma, ZeGang; Zhou, Yu; Xie, JunXia

    2012-11-01

    The mechanisms of iron accumulation in substantia nigra (SN) of Parkinson's diseases remain unclear. The objective of this study was to investigate effects of nifedipine on iron-overload-induced iron accumulation and neurodegeneration in SN of rats. By high performance liquid chromatography-electrochemical detection, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunohistochemistry, and iron content array, we first quantified iron content and the number of dopamine neurons in SN of experimental rats treated with iron dextran. We further assessed effects of treatment with nifedipine. Our results showed that nifedipine treatment prevents iron dextran-induced dopamine depletion in the striatum. Consistently, we found that nifedipine restores the number of TH-positive neurons reduced by iron dextran overload and prevents increase of iron content in the SN. These results suggested that nifedipine may suppress iron toxicity in dopamine neurons and prevent neurodegeneration.

  3. Survival, differentiation, and connectivity of ventral mesencephalic dopamine neurons following transplantation.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Lachlan; Björklund, Anders

    2012-01-01

    The reconstruction of midbrain dopamine (DA) circuitry through intracerebral transplantation of new DA neurons contained in embryonic ventral mesencephalon (VM) is a promising therapeutic approach for Parkinson's disease (PD). Although some of the early open-label trials have provided proof-of-principal that VM grafts can provide sustained improvement of motor function in some patients, subsequent trials showed that the functional response can be highly variable. This chapter reviews an extensive body of basic and clinical research on the survival, differentiation, and connectivity of DA neurons in VM grafts, and also looks at how these parameters are affected by certain host- and donor-specific variables. We also review how technical advances in the tools available to study the integration of grafted DA neurons, such as transgenic reporter mice, have made significant contributions to our understanding of the capacity of different DA neuronal subtypes for target-directed growth and innervation of appropriate host brain structures. Our established and on-going understanding of the capacity of grafted DA neurons to structurally and functionally integrate following transplantation forms an important basis for the refinement and optimization of VM grafting procedures, and also the development of new procedures based on the use of stem cells. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Loss of Mitochondrial Fission Depletes Axonal Mitochondria in Midbrain Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Berthet, Amandine; Margolis, Elyssa B.; Zhang, Jue; Hsieh, Ivy; Zhang, Jiasheng; Hnasko, Thomas S.; Ahmad, Jawad; Edwards, Robert H.; Sesaki, Hiromi; Huang, Eric J.

    2014-01-01

    Disruptions in mitochondrial dynamics may contribute to the selective degeneration of dopamine (DA) neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, little is known about the normal functions of mitochondrial dynamics in these neurons, especially in axons where degeneration begins, and this makes it difficult to understand the disease process. To study one aspect of mitochondrial dynamics—mitochondrial fission—in mouse DA neurons, we deleted the central fission protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1). Drp1 loss rapidly eliminates the DA terminals in the caudate–putamen and causes cell bodies in the midbrain to degenerate and lose α-synuclein. Without Drp1, mitochondrial mass dramatically decreases, especially in axons, where the mitochondrial movement becomes uncoordinated. However, in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a subset of midbrain DA neurons characterized by small hyperpolarization-activated cation currents (Ih) is spared, despite near complete loss of their axonal mitochondria. Drp1 is thus critical for targeting mitochondria to the nerve terminal, and a disruption in mitochondrial fission can contribute to the preferential death of nigrostriatal DA neurons. PMID:25339743

  5. Mutant PINK1 upregulates tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine levels, leading to vulnerability of dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Zhi Dong; Refai, Fathima Shaffra; Xie, Shao Ping; Ng, Shin Hui; Chan, Christine Hui Shan; Ho, Patrick Ghim Hoe; Zhang, Xiao Dong; Lim, Tit Meng; Tan, Eng King

    2014-03-01

    PINK1 mutations cause autosomal recessive forms of Parkinson disease (PD). Previous studies suggest that the neuroprotective function of wild-type (WT) PINK1 is related to mitochondrial homeostasis. PINK1 can also localize to the cytosol; however, the cytosolic function of PINK1 has not been fully elucidated. In this study we demonstrate that the extramitochondrial PINK1 can regulate tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expression and dopamine (DA) content in dopaminergic neurons in a PINK1 kinase activity-dependent manner. We demonstrate that overexpression of full-length (FL) WT PINK1 can downregulate TH expression and DA content in dopaminergic neurons. In contrast, overexpression of PD-linked G309D, A339T, and E231G PINK1 mutations upregulates TH and DA levels in dopaminergic neurons and increases their vulnerability to oxidative stress. Furthermore transfection of FL WT PINK1 or PINK1 fragments with the PINK1 kinase domain can inhibit TH expression, whereas kinase-dead (KD) FL PINK1 or KD PINK1 fragments upregulate TH level. Our findings highlight a potential novel function of extramitochondrial PINK1 in dopaminergic neurons. Deregulation of these functions of PINK1 may contribute to PINK1 mutation-induced dopaminergic neuron degeneration. However, deleterious effects caused by PINK1 mutations may be alleviated by iron-chelating agents and antioxidant agents with DA quinone-conjugating capacity.

  6. 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.

  7. Loss of mitochondrial fission depletes axonal mitochondria in midbrain dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Berthet, Amandine; Margolis, Elyssa B; Zhang, Jue; Hsieh, Ivy; Zhang, Jiasheng; Hnasko, Thomas S; Ahmad, Jawad; Edwards, Robert H; Sesaki, Hiromi; Huang, Eric J; Nakamura, Ken

    2014-10-22

    Disruptions in mitochondrial dynamics may contribute to the selective degeneration of dopamine (DA) neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, little is known about the normal functions of mitochondrial dynamics in these neurons, especially in axons where degeneration begins, and this makes it difficult to understand the disease process. To study one aspect of mitochondrial dynamics-mitochondrial fission-in mouse DA neurons, we deleted the central fission protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1). Drp1 loss rapidly eliminates the DA terminals in the caudate-putamen and causes cell bodies in the midbrain to degenerate and lose α-synuclein. Without Drp1, mitochondrial mass dramatically decreases, especially in axons, where the mitochondrial movement becomes uncoordinated. However, in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a subset of midbrain DA neurons characterized by small hyperpolarization-activated cation currents (Ih) is spared, despite near complete loss of their axonal mitochondria. Drp1 is thus critical for targeting mitochondria to the nerve terminal, and a disruption in mitochondrial fission can contribute to the preferential death of nigrostriatal DA neurons.

  8. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Clavulanic acid increases dopamine release in neuronal cells through a mechanism involving enhanced vesicle trafficking.

    PubMed

    Kost, Gina Chun; Selvaraj, Senthil; Lee, Young Bok; Kim, Deog Joong; Ahn, Chang-Ho; Singh, Brij B

    2011-10-24

    Clavulanic acid is a CNS-modulating compound with exceptional blood-brain barrier permeability and safety profile. Clavulanic acid has been proposed to have anti-depressant activity and is currently entering Phase IIb clinical trials for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Studies have also shown that clavulanic acid suppresses anxiety and enhances sexual functions in rodent and primate models by a mechanism involving central nervous system (CNS) modulation, although its detailed mechanism of action has yet to be elucidated. To further examine its potential as a CNS modulating agent as well as its mechanism of action, we investigated the effects of clavulanic acid in neuronal cells. Our results indicate that clavulanic acid enhances dopamine release in PC12 and SH-SY5Y cells without affecting dopamine synthesis. Furthermore, using affinity chromatography we were able to identify two proteins, Munc18-1 and Rab4 that potentially bind to clavulanic acid and play a critical role in neurosecretion and the vesicle trafficking process. Consistent with this result, an increase in the translocation of Munc18-1 and Rab4 from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane was observed in clavulanic acid treated cells. Overall, these data suggest that clavulanic acid enhances dopamine release in a mechanism involving Munc18-1 and Rab4 modulation and warrants further investigation of its therapeutic use in CNS disorders, such as depression. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Different receptors mediate the electrophysiological and growth cone responses of an identified neuron to applied dopamine.

    PubMed

    Dobson, K S; Dmetrichuk, J M; Spencer, G E

    2006-09-15

    Neurotransmitters are among the many cues that may guide developing axons toward appropriate targets in the developing nervous system. We have previously shown in the mollusk Lymnaea stagnalis that dopamine, released from an identified pre-synaptic cell, differentially affects growth cone behavior of its target and non-target cells in vitro. Here, we describe a group of non-target cells that also produce an inhibitory electrophysiological response to applied dopamine. We first determined, using pharmacological blockers, which receptors mediate this physiological response. We demonstrated that the dopaminergic electrophysiological responses of non-target cells were sensitive to a D2 receptor antagonist, as are known target cell responses. However, the non-target cell receptors were linked to different G-proteins and intracellular signaling pathways than the target cell receptors. Despite the presence of a D2-like receptor at the soma, the growth cone collapse of these non-target cells was mediated by D1-like receptors. This study shows that different dopamine receptor sub-types mediated the inhibitory physiological and growth cone responses of an identified cell type. We therefore not only provide further evidence that D2- and D1-like receptors can be present on the same neuron in invertebrates, but also show that these receptors are likely involved in very different cellular functions.

  11. Medial prefrontal cortex inversely regulates toluene-induced changes in markers of synaptic plasticity of mesolimbic dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Beckley, Jacob T.; Evins, Caitlin E.; Fedarovich, Hleb; Gilstrap, Meghin J.; Woodward, John J.

    2013-01-01

    Toluene is a volatile solvent that is intentionally inhaled by children, adolescents and adults for its intoxicating effects. While voluntary use of toluene suggests that it possesses rewarding properties and abuse potential, it is unknown whether toluene alters excitatory synaptic transmission in reward sensitive dopamine neurons like other drugs of abuse. Here, using a combination of retrograde labeling and slice electrophysiology, we show that a brief in vivo exposure of rats to a behaviorally relevant concentration of toluene vapor enhances glutamatergic synaptic strength of dopamine (DA) neurons projecting to nucleus accumbens core and medial shell neurons. This effect persisted for up to 3 days in mesoaccumbens core DA neurons and for at least 21 days in those projecting to the medial shell. In contrast, toluene vapor exposure had no effect on synaptic strength of DA neurons that project to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Furthermore, infusion of GABAergic modulators into the mPFC prior to vapor exposure to pharmacologically manipulate output, inhibited or potentiated toluene's action on mesoaccumbens DA neurons. Taken together, the results of these studies indicate that toluene induces a target-selective increase in mesolimbic DA neuron synaptic transmission and strongly implicates the mPFC as an important regulator of drug-induced plasticity of mesolimbic dopamine neurons. PMID:23303956

  12. 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

  13. Wnt5a-Dopamine D2 Receptor Interactions Regulate Dopamine Neuron Development via Extracellular Signal-regulated Kinase (ERK) Activation*

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Sehyoun; Choi, Mi-hyun; Chang, Min Seok; Baik, Ja-Hyun

    2011-01-01

    The dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) plays an important role in mesencephalic dopaminergic neuronal development, particularly coupled with extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation. Wnt5a protein is known to regulate the development of dopaminergic neurons. We analyzed the effect of Wnt5a on dopaminergic neuron development in mesencephalic primary cultures from wild-type (WT) and D2R knock-out (D2R−/−) mice. Treatment with Wnt5a increased the number and neuritic length of dopamine neurons in primary mesencephalic neuronal cultures from WT mice, but not from D2R−/− mice. The effect of Wnt5a was completely blocked by treatment with D2R antagonist or inhibitors of MAPK or EGFR. Wnt5a-mediated ERK activation in mesencephalic neuronal cultures was inhibited by treatment of D2R antagonist and EGFR inhibitors in WT mice. However, these regulations were not observed for D2R−/− mice. Co-immunoprecipitation and displacement of [3H]spiperone from D2R by Wnt5a demonstrated that Wnt5a could bind with D2R. This interaction was confirmed by GST pulldown assays demonstrating that the domain including transmembrane domain 4, second extracellular loop, and transmembrane domain 5 of D2R binds to Wnt5a. These results suggest that the interaction between D2R and Wnt5a has an important role in dopamine neuron development in association with EGFR and the ERK pathway. PMID:21454669

  14. 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 Central

    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

  15. The Timing of Sonic Hedgehog and Gli1 Expression Segregates Midbrain Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, Lindsay; Zhang, Zhiwei; Albert, Paul; Zervas, Mark; Ahn, Sohyun

    2011-01-01

    The ventral midbrain (vMb) is organized into distinct anatomical domains and contains cohorts of functionally distinct subtypes of midbrain dopamine (mDA) neurons. We tested the hypothesis that genetic history and timing of gene expression within mDA neuron progenitors impart spatial diversity. Using Genetic Inducible Fate Mapping to mark the Sonic hedgehog (Shh) and Gli1 lineages at varying embryonic stages, we performed a quantitative and qualitative comparison of the two lineages’ contribution to the mDA neuron domains. Dynamic changes in Shh and Gli1 expression in the vMb primordia delineated their spatial contribution to the E12.5 vMb: Both lineages first contributed to the medial domain, but subsequently the Gli1 lineage exclusively contributed to the lateral vMb while the Shh lineage expanded more broadly across the vMb. The contribution of both lineages to the differentiated mDA neuron domain was initially biased anteriorly and became more uniform across the anterior/posterior vMb throughout development. Our findings demonstrate that the early Shh and Gli1 lineages specify mDA neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta while the late Shh and Gli1 lineages maintain their progenitor state longer in the posterior vMb to extend the production of mDA neurons in the ventral tegmental area. Together, our study demonstrates that the timing of gene expression along with the genetic lineage (Shh or Gli1) within the neural progenitors segregate mDA neurons into distinct spatial domains. PMID:21713771

  16. 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

  17. Reversal of Prolonged Dopamine Inhibition of Dopaminergic Neurons of the Ventral Tegmental Area

    PubMed Central

    Nimitvilai, Sudarat

    2010-01-01

    Drug abuse-induced plasticity of putative dopaminergic (pDAergic) ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons may play an important role in changes in the mesocorticolimbic system that lead to the development of addiction. In the present study, extracellular recordings were used to examine time-dependent effects of dopamine (DA) on pDAergic VTA neurons in rat brain slices. Administration of DA (2.5–10 μM) for 40 min resulted in inhibition followed by partial or full reversal of that inhibition. The reduced sensitivity to DA inhibition lasted 30 to 90 min after washout of the long-term dopamine administration. The inhibition reversal was not observed with 40-min administration of the D2 agonist quinpirole (25–200 nM), so this phenomenon was not the result of desensitization induced solely by stimulation of D2 DA receptors. Inhibition reversal could be observed with the coapplication of quinpirole and the D1/D5 agonist SKF38393 [(±)-1-phenyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-(1H)-3-benzazepine-7,8-diol hydrobromide], suggesting a D1/D5 mechanism for the reversal. Furthermore, D1/D5 antagonists, given in the presence of prolonged DA exposure, prevented the inhibition reversal. Application of 3 μM quinpirole caused desensitization to low quinpirole concentrations that was blocked by a D1/D5 antagonist. These data suggest that coactivation of D1/D5 receptors and D2 receptors in the VTA results in desensitization of autoinhibitory D2 receptors. Prolonged increases in pDAergic tone in the VTA that may occur in vivo with drugs of abuse could reduce the regulation of firing by D2 dopamine receptor activation, producing long-term alteration in information processing related to reward and reinforcement. PMID:20164301

  18. The effects of administration of monoamine oxidase-B inhibitors on rat striatal neurone responses to dopamine.

    PubMed Central

    Berry, M D; Scarr, E; Zhu, M Y; Paterson, I A; Juorio, A V

    1994-01-01

    1. (-)-Deprenyl has been shown to potentiate rat striatal neurone responses to dopamine agonists at doses not altering dopamine metabolism. Since there are a number of effects of (-)-deprenyl which could result in this phenomenon, we have investigated the effects of MDL 72,145 and Ro 19-6327, whose only common effect with (-)-deprenyl is an inhibition of monoamine oxidase-B (MAO-B), on rat striatal neurone responses to dopamine and on striatal dopamine metabolism. 2. Using in vivo electrophysiology, i.p. injection of either MDL 72,145 or Ro 19-6327 was found to produce a dose-dependent potentiation of striatal neurone responses to dopamine but not gamma-aminobutyric acid. 3. Neurochemical investigations revealed that this occurred at doses (0.25-1 mg kg-1) which, while not affecting levels of dopamine or its metabolites, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid or homovanillic acid, did cause a significant, dose-dependent, elevation in striatal levels of the putative neuromodulator, 2-phenylethylamine (PE). 4. Inhibition of PE synthesis by i.p. injection of the aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase inhibitor, NSD 1015, produced a reversal of the effects of MDL 72,145 and Ro 19-6327. 5. Neurochemical analysis revealed this to occur at a dose of NSD 1015 (10 mg kg-1) selective for reduction of elevated PE levels. 6. These results suggest that PE can act as a neuromodulator of dopaminergic responses and that MAO-B inhibitors may potentiate neuronal responses to dopamine via the indirect mechanism of elevation of PE following MAO-B inhibition. PMID:7889269

  19. Optimizing NTS-Polyplex as a Tool for Gene Transfer to Cultured Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez-Baltazar, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    The study of signal transduction in dopamine (DA)-containing neurons as well as the development of new therapeutic approaches for Parkinson's disease requires the selective expression of transgenes in such neurons. Here we describe optimization of the use of the NTS-polyplex, a gene carrier system taking advantage of neurotensin receptor internalization, to transfect mouse DA neurons in primary culture. The plasmids DsRed2 (4.7 kbp) and VGLUT2-Venus (11 kbp) were used to compare the ability of this carrier system to transfect plasmids of different sizes. We examined the impact of age of the neurons (1, 3, 5 and 8 days after seeding), of culture media used during the transfection (Neurobasal with B27 vs. conditioned medium) and of three molar ratios of plasmid DNA to carrier. While the NTS-polyplex successfully transfected both plasmids in a control N1E-115 cell line, only the pDsRed2 plasmid could be transfected in primary cultured DA neurons. We achieved 20% transfection efficiency of pDsRed2 in DA neurons, with 80% cell viability. The transfection was demonstrated pharmacologically to be dependent on activation of neurotensin receptors and to be selective for DA neurons. The presence of conditioned medium for transfection was found to be required to insure cell viability. Highest transfection efficiency was achieved in the most mature neurons. In contrast, transfection with the VGLUT2-Venus plasmid produced cell damage, most likely due to the high molar ratios required, as evidenced by a 15% cell viability of DA neurons at the three molar ratios tested (1∶36, 1∶39 and 1∶42). We conclude that, when used at molar ratios lower than 1∶33, the NTS-polyplex can selectively transfect mature cultured DA neurons with only low levels of toxicity. Our results provide evidence that the NTS-polyplex has good potential for targeted gene delivery in cultured DA neurons, an in vitro system of great use for the screening of new therapeutic approaches for Parkinson

  20. Mesocortical dopamine neurons operate in distinct temporal domains using multimodal signaling.

    PubMed

    Lavin, Antonieta; Nogueira, Lourdes; Lapish, Christopher C; Wightman, R Mark; Phillips, Paul E M; Seamans, Jeremy K

    2005-05-18

    In vivo extracellular recording studies have traditionally shown that dopamine (DA) transiently inhibits prefrontal cortex (PFC) neurons, yet recent biophysical measurements in vitro indicate that DA enhances the evoked excitability of PFC neurons for prolonged periods. Moreover, although DA neurons apparently encode stimulus salience by transient alterations in firing, the temporal properties of the PFC DA signal associated with various behaviors is often extraordinarily prolonged. The present study used in vivo electrophysiological and electrochemical measures to show that the mesocortical system produces a fast non-DA-mediated postsynaptic response in the PFC that appears to be initiated by glutamate. In contrast, short burst stimulation of mesocortical DA neurons that produced transient (<4 s) DA release in the PFC caused a simultaneous reduction in spontaneous firing (consistent with extracellular in vivo recordings) and a form of DA-induced potentiation in which evoked firing was increased for tens of minutes (consistent with in vitro measurements). We suggest that the mesocortical system might transmit fast signals about reward or salience via corelease of glutamate, whereas the simultaneous prolonged DA-mediated modulation of firing biases the long-term processing dynamics of PFC networks.

  1. Alpha 2-adrenergic receptors influence tyrosine hydroxylase activity in retinal dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Iuvone, P M; Rauch, A L

    1983-12-12

    Dopamine (DA) is a putative neurotransmitter in a population of interneurons in the mammalian retina that are activated by photic stimulation. Pharmacological studies were conducted to determine if alpha 2-adrenergic receptors influence the activity of retinal tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), a biochemical indicator of changes in the activity of the DA-containing neurons. TH activity was low in dark-adapted retinas and high in light-exposed retinas. Systemic administration of the alpha 2-adrenoceptor antagonists, yohimbine and piperoxane, to dark-adapted rats significantly stimulated TH activity. This effect was apparently mediated locally within the retina because the response could also be elicited by direct injection of yohimbine into the vitreous. The dose-response relationships for the effects of alpha 2-adrenoceptor antagonists on retinal TH activity were similar to those for the effects on brain noradrenergic neurons, where alpha 2-adrenoceptors have been shown to be involved in the autoregulation of neuronal activity. Clonidine, an alpha 2-adrenoceptor agonist, had no effect when administered alone to dark-adapted rats, but it attenuated the stimulatory effect of yohimbine. In contrast, clonidine decreased TH activity of light-exposed retinas, an effect that was reversed by yohimbine. These observations suggest that alpha 2-adrenoceptors influence the activity of retinal DA-containing neurons.

  2. 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.

  3. A Subpopulation of Neuronal M4 Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptors Plays a Critical Role in Modulating Dopamine-Dependent Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Jeon, Jongrye; Dencker, Ditte; Wortwein, Gitta; Woldbye, David P. D.; Cui, Yinghong; Davis, Albert A.; Levey, Allan I.; Schütz, Günther; Sager, Thomas; Mørk, Arne; Li, Cuiling; Deng, Chu-Xia; Fink-Jensen, Anders; Wess, Jürgen

    2010-01-01

    Acetylcholine (ACh) regulates many key functions of the CNS by activating cell surface receptors referred to as muscarinic ACh receptors (M1–M5 mAChRs). Like other mAChR subtypes, the M4 mAChR is widely expressed in different regions of the forebrain. Interestingly, M4 mAChRs are coexpressed with D1 dopamine receptors in a specific subset of striatal projection neurons. To investigate the physiological relevance of this M4 mAChR subpopulation in modulating dopamine-dependent behaviors, we used Cre/loxP technology to generate mutant mice that lack M4 mAChRs only in D1 dopamine receptor-expressing cells. The newly generated mutant mice displayed several striking behavioral phenotypes including enhanced hyperlocomotor activity and increased behavioral sensitization following treatment with psychostimulants. These behavioral changes wereaccompanied by a lack of muscarinic inhibition of D1 dopamine receptor-mediated camp stimulation in the striatum and an increase in dopamine efflux in the nucleus accumbens. These novel findings demonstrate that a distinct subpopulation of neuronal M4 mAChRs plays a critical role in modulating several important dopamine-dependent behaviors. Since enhanced central dopaminergic neurotransmission is a hallmark of several severe disorders of the CNS, including schizophrenia and drug addiction, our findings have substantial clinical relevance. PMID:20147565

  4. A synthetic five amino acid propeptide increases dopamine neuron differentiation and neurochemical function

    PubMed Central

    Littrell, OM; Fuqua, JL; Richardson, AD; Turchan-Cholewo, J.; Hascup, ER; Huettl, P; Pomerleau, F; Bradley, LH; Gash, DM; Gerhardt, GA

    2012-01-01

    A major consequence of Parkinson’s disease (PD) involves the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) and a subsequent loss of dopamine (DA) in the striatum. We have shown that glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) shows robust restorative and protective effects for DA neurons in rats, non-human primates and possibly in humans. Despite GDNF’s therapeutic potential, its clinical value has been questioned due to its limited diffusion to target areas from its large size and chemical structure. Several comparatively smaller peptides are thought to be generated from the prosequence. A five amino-acid peptide, dopamine neuron stimulating peptide-5 (DNSP-5), has been proposed to demonstrate biological activity relevant to neurodegenerative disease. We tested the in vitro effects of DNSP-5 in primary dopaminergic neurons dissected from the ventral mesencephalon of E14 Sprague Dawley rat fetuses. Cells were treated with several doses (0.03, 0.1, 1.0, 10.0 ng/mL) of GDNF, DNSP-5, or an equivalent volume of citrate buffer (vehicle). Morphological features of tyrosine hydroxylase positive neurons were quantified for each dose. DNSP-5 significantly increased (p<0.001) all differentiation parameters compared to citrate vehicle (at one or more dose). For in vivo studies, a unilateral DNSP-5 treatment (30 µg) was administered directly to the SN. Microdialysis in the ipsilateral striatum was performed 28 days after treatment to determine extracellular levels of DA and its primary metabolites (3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and homovanillic acid). A single treatment significantly increased (~66%) extracellular DA levels compared to vehicle, while DA metabolites were unchanged. Finally, the protective effects of DNSP-5 against staurosporine-induced cytotoxicity were investigated in a neuronal cell line showing substantial protection by DNSP-5. Altogether, these studies strongly indicate biological activity of DNSP-5 and suggest that DNSP-5 has

  5. Bright light exposure reduces TH-positive dopamine neurons: implications of light pollution in Parkinson's disease epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Romeo, Stefania; Viaggi, Cristina; Di Camillo, Daniela; Willis, Allison W; Lozzi, Luca; Rocchi, Cristina; Capannolo, Marta; Aloisi, Gabriella; Vaglini, Francesca; Maccarone, Rita; Caleo, Matteo; Missale, Cristina; Racette, Brad A; Corsini, Giovanni U; Maggio, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    This study explores the effect of continuous exposure to bright light on neuromelanin formation and dopamine neuron survival in the substantia nigra. Twenty-one days after birth, Sprague-Dawley albino rats were divided into groups and raised under different conditions of light exposure. At the end of the irradiation period, rats were sacrificed and assayed for neuromelanin formation and number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons in the substantia nigra. The rats exposed to bright light for 20 days or 90 days showed a relatively greater number of neuromelanin-positive neurons. Surprisingly, TH-positive neurons decreased progressively in the substantia nigra reaching a significant 29% reduction after 90 days of continuous bright light exposure. This decrease was paralleled by a diminution of dopamine and its metabolite in the striatum. Remarkably, in preliminary analysis that accounted for population density, the age and race adjusted Parkinson's disease prevalence significantly correlated with average satellite-observed sky light pollution.

  6. Bright light exposure reduces TH-positive dopamine neurons: implications of light pollution in Parkinson's disease epidemiology

    PubMed Central

    Romeo, Stefania; Viaggi, Cristina; Di Camillo, Daniela; Willis, Allison W.; Lozzi, Luca; Rocchi, Cristina; Capannolo, Marta; Aloisi, Gabriella; Vaglini, Francesca; Maccarone, Rita; Caleo, Matteo; Missale, Cristina; Racette, Brad A.; Corsini, Giovanni U.; Maggio, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    This study explores the effect of continuous exposure to bright light on neuromelanin formation and dopamine neuron survival in the substantia nigra. Twenty-one days after birth, Sprague–Dawley albino rats were divided into groups and raised under different conditions of light exposure. At the end of the irradiation period, rats were sacrificed and assayed for neuromelanin formation and number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons in the substantia nigra. The rats exposed to bright light for 20 days or 90 days showed a relatively greater number of neuromelanin-positive neurons. Surprisingly, TH-positive neurons decreased progressively in the substantia nigra reaching a significant 29% reduction after 90 days of continuous bright light exposure. This decrease was paralleled by a diminution of dopamine and its metabolite in the striatum. Remarkably, in preliminary analysis that accounted for population density, the age and race adjusted Parkinson's disease prevalence significantly correlated with average satellite-observed sky light pollution. PMID:23462874

  7. Dopamine acts on D2 receptors to increase potassium conductance in neurones of the rat substantia nigra zona compacta.

    PubMed Central

    Lacey, M G; Mercuri, N B; North, R A

    1987-01-01

    1. Intracellular recordings were made from neurones in the substantia nigra zona compacta in slices of rat mesencephalon in vitro. The majority of neurones fired action potentials spontaneously at 0.2-5.6 Hz. Dopamine, applied either by superfusion or from the tip of a pressurized pipette, prevented spontaneous action potential firing and hyperpolarized the membrane. 2. When the membrane potential was held negative to the threshold for action potential firing, the hyperpolarization evoked by dopamine was accompanied by a fall in input resistance. Under voltage clamp, dopamine produced an outward membrane current associated with an increase in membrane conductance. The effects of superfused dopamine on firing rate, membrane potential and membrane current were concentration dependent in the range 1-100 microM. 3. The reversal potential for the hyperpolarizations and the outward currents produced by dopamine was -109.7 +/- 1.7 mV (n = 12) when the potassium concentration was 2.5 mM and -74.0 +/- 5.0 mV (n = 4) when the potassium concentration was 10.5 mM. The change in reversal potentials in these and intermediate potassium concentrations was described by the Nernst equation. 4. The outward current induced by dopamine was reversibly reduced by barium (100-300 microM) and by high concentrations of tetraethylammonium (greater than or equal to 10 mM). Calcium-free solutions with cobalt (0.5-2 mM) did not reduce the current in response to dopamine during the first 5 min of their application. Currents and hyperpolarizations caused by dopamine were unaffected by tetrodotoxin (1 microM). 5. The hyperpolarization produced by dopamine was mimicked by the D2 receptor agonist quinpirole (LY 171555, 0.1-3 microM) and was blocked by the D2 receptor agonists domperidone and (-)-sulpiride. Agonists and antagonists at D1 receptors had no effect. 6. (-)-Sulpiride (30 nM-30 microM) produced a progressive shift to the right in the concentration-response curve to either dopamine or

  8. Sensitization of midbrain dopamine neuron reactivity promotes the pursuit of amphetamine.

    PubMed

    Vezina, Paul; Lorrain, Daniel S; Arnold, Gretchen M; Austin, Jennifer D; Suto, Nobuyoshi

    2002-06-01

    Stimulant drugs such as amphetamine are readily self-administered by humans and laboratory animals by virtue of their actions on dopamine (DA) neurons of the midbrain. Repeated exposure to this drug systemically or exclusively in the cell body region of these neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) leads to long-lasting changes in dopaminergic function that can be assessed by increased locomotor activity and enhanced DA overflow in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) after re-exposure to the drug. Three experiments were conducted to evaluate the possibility that this enduring sensitized reactivity underlies compulsive drug self-administration. In all experiments, rats were pre-exposed to amphetamine and, starting 10 d later, their intravenous self-administration of the drug was assessed. In the first experiment, rats previously exposed to amphetamine systemically or exclusively in the VTA subsequently worked harder than untreated animals to obtain the drug when the work required to obtain successive infusions was increased progressively. In the second experiment, this progressively increasing workload was found to decrease the magnitude of amphetamine-induced DA overflow observed with successive infusions until responding ceased. Rats previously exposed to amphetamine were more resistant to this decline and more apt to maintain responding. Finally, in experiment three, a noncontingent priming injection of the drug produced a greater NAcc DA response and a greater parallel increase in lever pressing in drug compared with saline pre-exposed rats. Together, these results demonstrate a direct relation between drug-induced sensitization of midbrain dopamine neuron reactivity and the excessive pursuit and self-administration of an abused substance.

  9. Action potentials and amphetamine release antipsychotic drug from dopamine neuron synaptic VMAT vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Tucker, Kristal R.; Block, Ethan R.; Levitan, Edwin S.

    2015-01-01

    Based on lysotracker red imaging in cultured hippocampal neurons, antipsychotic drugs (APDs) were proposed to accumulate in synaptic vesicles by acidic trapping and to be released in response to action potentials. Because many APDs are dopamine (DA) D2 receptor (D2R) antagonists, such a mechanism would be particularly interesting if it operated in midbrain DA neurons. Here, the APD cyamemazine (CYAM) is visualized directly by two-photon microscopy in substantia nigra and striatum brain slices. CYAM accumulated slowly into puncta based on vacuolar H+-ATPase activity and dispersed rapidly upon dissipating organelle pH gradients. Thus, CYAM is subject to acidic trapping and released upon deprotonation. In the striatum, Ca2+-dependent reduction of the CYAM punctate signal was induced by depolarization or action potentials. Striatal CYAM overlapped with the dopamine transporter (DAT). Furthermore, parachloroamphetamine (pCA), acting via vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT), and a charged VMAT, substrate 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+), reduced striatal CYAM. In vivo CYAM administration and in vitro experiments confirmed that clinically relevant CYAM concentrations result in vesicular accumulation and pCA-dependent release. These results show that some CYAM is in DA neuron VMAT vesicles and suggests a new drug interaction in which amphetamine induces CYAM deprotonation and release as a consequence of the H+ countertransport by VMAT that accompanies vesicular uptake, but not by inducing exchange or acting as a weak base. Therefore, in the striatum, APDs are released with DA in response to action potentials and an amphetamine. This synaptic corelease is expected to enhance APD antagonism of D2Rs where and when dopaminergic transmission occurs. PMID:26216995

  10. Dopamine transporter is essential for the maintenance of spontaneous activity of auditory nerve neurones and their responsiveness to sound stimulation.

    PubMed

    Ruel, Jérôme; Wang, Jing; Demêmes, Danielle; Gobaille, Serge; Puel, Jean-Luc; Rebillard, Guy

    2006-04-01

    Dopamine, a neurotransmitter released by the lateral olivocochlear efferents, has been shown tonically to inhibit the spontaneous and sound-evoked activity of auditory nerve fibres. This permanent inhibition probably requires the presence of an efficient transporter to remove dopamine from the synaptic cleft. Here, we report that the dopamine transporter is located in the lateral efferent fibres both below the inner hair cells and in the inner spiral bundle. Perilymphatic perfusion of the dopamine transporter inhibitors nomifensine and N-[1-(2-benzo[b]thiophenyl)cyclohexyl]piperidine into the cochlea reduced the spontaneous neural noise and the sound-evoked compound action potential of the auditory nerve in a dose-dependent manner, leading to both neural responses being completely abolished. We observed no significant change in cochlear responses generated by sensory hair cells (cochlear microphonic, summating potential, distortion products otoacoustic emissions) or in the endocochlear potential reflecting the functional state of the stria vascularis. This is consistent with a selective action of dopamine transporter inhibitors on auditory nerve activity. Capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence (EC-LIF) measurements showed that nomifensine-induced inhibition of auditory nerve responses was due to increased extracellular dopamine levels in the cochlea. Altogether, these results show that the dopamine transporter is essential for maintaining the spontaneous activity of auditory nerve neurones and their responsiveness to sound stimulation.

  11. Atypical protein kinase C is a novel mediator of dopamine-enhanced firing in nucleus accumbens neurons.

    PubMed

    Hopf, F Woodward; Mailliard, William S; Gonzalez, Gilda F; Diamond, Ivan; Bonci, Antonello

    2005-01-26

    Current concepts suggest that nucleus accumbens (NAcb) dopamine mediates several motivated and addictive behaviors. Although the role of protein kinase A (PKA) and dopamine and cyclic adenosine 3',5' monophosphate-regulated phosphoprotein 32 kDa in NAcb dopamine receptor throughput has been studied extensively, the contribution of protein kinase C (PKC) to NAcb firing is poorly understood. Here we show that dopamine-mediated enhancement of spike firing in NAcb shell medium spiny neurons was prevented by the PKC inhibitor bisindolylmaleimide but not by the phospholipase C inhibitor 1-[6-((17b-3-methoxyestra-1,3,5(10)-trien-17-yl) amino)hexyl]-1H-pyrrole-2,5-dione, suggesting a role for a diacylglycerol-independent atypical PKC (aPKC) isoform. In this regard, modulation of firing by dopamine was prevented by intracellular perfusion of a pseudosubstrate peptide inhibitor for aPKCs. We also provide evidence, using an in vitro kinase assay, that dopamine receptor activation increased aPKC activity in striatal membranes. Finally, direct activation of PKA with forskolin enhanced firing even during inhibition of aPKCs, suggesting that aPKCs acted upstream of PKA activation. Thus, aPKCs appear to mediate dopaminergic enhancement of spike firing in the NAcb shell, and may therefore play a critical role in NAcb- and dopamine-dependent goal-directed behaviors.

  12. Habenula-Induced Inhibition of Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Is Diminished by Lesions of the Rostromedial Tegmental Nucleus.

    PubMed

    Brown, P Leon; Palacorolla, Heather; Brady, Dana; Riegger, Katelyn; Elmer, Greg I; Shepard, Paul D

    2017-01-04

    Neurons in the lateral habenula (LHb) are transiently activated by aversive events and have been implicated in associative learning. Functional changes associated with tonic and phasic activation of the LHb are often attributed to a corresponding inhibition of midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons. Activation of GABAergic neurons in the rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg), a region that receives dense projections from the LHb and projects strongly to midbrain monoaminergic nuclei, is believed to underlie the transient inhibition of DA neurons attributed to activation of the LHb. To test this premise, the effects of axon-sparing lesions of the RMTg were assessed on LHb-induced inhibition of midbrain DA cell firing in anesthetized rats. Quinolinic acid lesions decreased the number of NeuN-positive neurons in the RMTg significantly while largely sparing cells in neighboring regions. Lesions of the RMTg reduced both the number of DA neurons inhibited by, and the duration of inhibition resulting from, LHb stimulation. Although the firing rate was not altered, the regularity of DA cell firing was increased in RMTg-lesioned rats. Locomotor activity in an open field was also elevated. These results are the first to show that RMTg neurons contribute directly to LHb-induced inhibition of DA cell activity and support the widely held proposition that GABAergic neurons in the mesopontine tegmentum are an important component of a pathway that enables midbrain DA neurons to encode the negative valence associated with failed expectations and aversive stimuli. Phasic changes in the activity of midbrain dopamine cells motivate and guide future behavior. Activation of the lateral habenula by aversive events inhibits dopamine neurons transiently, providing a neurobiological representation of learning models that incorporate negative reward prediction errors. Anatomical evidence suggests that this inhibition occurs via the rostromedial tegmental nucleus, but this hypothesis has yet to be

  13. 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

  14. Loss of mitochondrial complex I activity potentiates dopamine neuron death induced by microtubule dysfunction in a Parkinson’s disease model

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Won-Seok; Palmiter, Richard D.

    2011-01-01

    Mitochondrial complex I dysfunction is regarded as underlying dopamine neuron death in Parkinson’s disease models. However, inactivation of the Ndufs4 gene, which compromises complex I activity, does not affect the survival of dopamine neurons in culture or in the substantia nigra pars compacta of 5-wk-old mice. Treatment with piericidin A, a complex I inhibitor, does not induce selective dopamine neuron death in either Ndufs4+/+ or Ndufs4−/− mesencephalic cultures. In contrast, rotenone, another complex I inhibitor, causes selective toxicity to dopamine neurons, and Ndufs4 inactivation potentiates this toxicity. We identify microtubule depolymerization and the accumulation of cytosolic dopamine and reactive oxygen species as alternative mechanisms underlying rotenone-induced dopamine neuron death. Enhanced rotenone toxicity to dopamine neurons from Ndufs4 knockout mice may involve enhanced dopamine synthesis caused by the accumulation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide reduced. Our results suggest that the combination of disrupting microtubule dynamics and inhibiting complex I, either by mutations or exposure to toxicants, may be a risk factor for Parkinson’s disease. PMID:21383081

  15. Coupled intracerebral microdialysis and electrophysiology for the assessment of dopamine neuron function in vivo.

    PubMed

    Panin, Francesca; Cathala, Adeline; Piazza, Pier Vincenzo; Spampinato, Umberto

    2012-03-01

    The central dopaminergic system is involved in the pathophysiology of several neuropsychiatric disorders. Intracerebral microdialysis and electrophysiology provide two powerful techniques to investigate dopamine (DA) function and the mechanism of action of psychotropic drugs in vivo. Here, we developed a protocol allowing the combined measurement of neurochemical and electrical activities of the nigrostriatal and mesoaccumbens DA pathways, by coupling in vivo microdialysis and electrophysiology in the same isoflurane-anesthetized animal. DA neuron firing rate and burst firing were measured in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA), whereas extracellular levels of DA and its main metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) were monitored in the striatum and the nucleus accumbens (NAc). The validity of the protocol was assessed using various drugs known to modify DA neuron activity in vivo. The peripheral administration of the DA-D2 agonist quinpirole decreased SNc DA neuron firing rate and burst firing, as well as DA and DOPAC outflow in the rat striatum. Opposite effects were observed after the peripheral administration of the DA-D2 antagonist haloperidol. In rats and mice, the peripheral administration of cocaine elicited a decrease in VTA DA neuron firing rate and burst firing, and an increase in accumbal DA outflow, paralleled by a reduction in DOPAC outflow. The obtained results, confirming previous electrophysiological and microdialysis studies, demonstrate that this protocol provides a suitable method for the study of DA neuron function and the mechanism of action of psychotropic drugs in the living brain of both rats and mice. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Neonatal onset of leptin signalling in dopamine neurones of the ventral tegmental area in the rat.

    PubMed

    Naef, L; Gjerde, E; Long, H; Richard, D; Walker, C-D

    2014-12-01

    Leptin inhibits feeding by acting on hypothalamic and mesolimbic dopamine (DA) pathways involved in the homeostatic and hedonic control of energy balance. In the rodent, the neonatal period is characterised by high circulating leptin concentrations and an insensitivity to the anorectic effects of this hormone, suggesting that the modulation of these circuits by leptin is reduced during this period. The present study aimed to examine the onset of the functional ventral tegmental area (VTA) response to leptin during the neonatal period and to characterise the phenotype of leptin-responsive VTA neurones. On postnatal day (PND) 10 in pups insensitive to the anorectic effects of leptin and exclusively dependent on their mother for feeding, leptin administration failed to increase phosphorylated signal transducer of activation and transcription 3 (pSTAT3) and phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (pERK)1/2 immunoreactivity in the midbrain. At the onset of independent feeding on PND16, leptin stimulated pSTAT3 production in the lateral parabrachial pigmented area of the midbrain, with a subset of these pSTAT3-positive neurones co-localising with tyrosine hydroxylase, a marker of DA neurones. Leptin did not increase pERK1/2 immunoreactivity in DA neurones on PND16. These results suggest that the insensitivity of PND10 pups to the anorectic effects of leptin might be mediated, at least in part, by a lack of signalling through the Janus kinase/STAT signalling pathway in VTA DA neurones in response to leptin before the onset of independent feeding. © 2014 British Society for Neuroendocrinology.

  17. CD24 expression does not affect dopamine neuronal survival in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease

    PubMed Central

    Hayat, Shaista; Carnwath, Tom; Garas, Shaady; Sleeman, Jonathan P.; Barker, Roger A.

    2017-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition that is characterised by the loss of specific populations of neurons in the brain. The mechanisms underlying this selective cell death are unknown but by using laser capture microdissection, the glycoprotein, CD24 has been identified as a potential marker of the populations of cells that are affected in PD. Using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry on sections of mouse brain, we confirmed that CD24 is robustly expressed by many of these subsets of cells. To determine if CD24 may have a functional role in PD, we modelled the dopamine cell loss of PD in Cd24 mutant mice using striatal delivery of the neurotoxin 6-OHDA. We found that Cd24 mutant mice have an anatomically normal dopamine system and that this glycoprotein does not modulate the lesion effects of 6-OHDA delivered into the striatum. We then undertook in situ hybridization studies on sections of human brain and found—as in the mouse brain—that CD24 is expressed by many of the subsets of the cells that are vulnerable in PD, but not those of the midbrain dopamine system. Finally, we sought to determine if CD24 is required for the neuroprotective effect of Glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) on the dopaminergic nigrostriatal pathway. Our results indicate that in the absence of CD24, there is a reduction in the protective effects of GDNF on the dopaminergic fibres in the striatum, but no difference in the survival of the cell bodies in the midbrain. While we found no obvious role for CD24 in the normal development and maintenance of the dopaminergic nigrostriatal system in mice, it may have a role in mediating the neuroprotective aspects of GDNF in this system. PMID:28182766

  18. Pacemaker rate and depolarization block in nigral dopamine neurons: a somatic sodium channel balancing act

    PubMed Central

    Tucker, Kristal R.; Huertas, Marco A.; Horn, John P.; Canavier, Carmen C.; Levitan, Edwin S.

    2012-01-01

    Midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons are slow intrinsic pacemakers that undergo depolarization (DP) block upon moderate stimulation. Understanding DP block is important because it has been correlated with the clinical efficacy of chronic antipsychotic drug treatment. Here we describe how voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channels regulate DP block and pacemaker activity in DA neurons of the substantia nigra using rat brain slices. The distribution, density and gating of NaV currents were manipulated by blocking native channels with tetrodotoxin and by creating virtual channels and anti-channels with dynamic clamp. Although action potentials initiate in the axon initial segment (AIS) and NaV channels are distributed in multiple dendrites, selective reduction of NaV channel activity in the soma was sufficient to decrease pacemaker frequency and increase susceptibility to DP block. Conversely, increasing somatic NaV current density raised pacemaker frequency and lowered susceptibility to DP block. Finally, when NaV currents were restricted to the soma, pacemaker activity occurred at abnormally high rates due to excessive local subthreshold NaV current. Together with computational simulations, these data show that both the slow pacemaker rate and the sensitivity to DP block that characterizes DA neurons result from the low density of somatic NaV channels. More generally, we conclude that the somatodendritic distribution of NaV channels is a major determinant of repetitive spiking frequency. PMID:23077037

  19. Blockade of neuronal dopamine D2 receptor attenuates morphine tolerance in mice spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Wen-Ling; Xiong, Feng; Yan, Bing; Cao, Zheng-Yu; Liu, Wen-Tao; Liu, Ji-Hua; Yu, Bo-Yang

    2016-01-01

    Tolerance induced by morphine remains a major unresolved problem and significantly limits its clinical use. Recent evidences have indicated that dopamine D2 receptor (D2DR) is likely to be involved in morphine-induced antinociceptive tolerance. However, its exact effect and molecular mechanism remain unknown. In this study we examined the effect of D2DR on morphine antinociceptive tolerance in mice spinal cord. Chronic morphine treatment significantly increased levels of D2DR in mice spinal dorsal horn. And the immunoreactivity of D2DR was newly expressed in neurons rather than astrocytes or microglia both in vivo and in vitro. Blockade of D2DR with its antagonist (sulpiride and L-741,626, i.t.) attenuated morphine antinociceptive tolerance without affecting basal pain perception. Sulpiride (i.t.) also down-regulated the expression of phosphorylation of NR1, PKC, MAPKs and suppressed the activation of astrocytes and microglia induced by chronic morphine administration. Particularly, D2DR was found to interact with μ opioid receptor (MOR) in neurons, and chronic morphine treatment enhanced the MOR/D2DR interactions. Sulpiride (i.t.) could disrupt the MOR/D2DR interactions and attenuate morphine tolerance, indicating that neuronal D2DR in the spinal cord may be involved in morphine tolerance possibly by interacting with MOR. These results may present new opportunities for the treatment and management of morphine-induced antinociceptive tolerance which often observed in clinic. PMID:28004735

  20. 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

  1. Inhibition of the Aplysia sensory neuron calcium current with dopamine and serotonin.

    PubMed

    Dunn, Tyler W; Sossin, Wayne S

    2013-11-01

    The inhibition of Aplysia pleural mechanosensory neuron synapses by dopamine and serotonin through activation of endogenous dopaminergic and expressed 5-HT1Apl(a)/b receptors, respectively, involves a reduction in action potential-associated calcium influx. We show that the inhibition of synaptic efficacy is downstream of the readily releasable pool, suggesting that inhibition is at the level of calcium secretion coupling, likely a result of the changes in the calcium current. Indeed, the inhibitory responses directly reduce a CaV2-like calcium current in isolated sensory neurons. The inhibition of the calcium current is voltage independent as it is not affected by a strong depolarizing prepulse, consistent with other invertebrate CaV2 calcium currents. Similar to voltage-independent inhibition of vertebrate nociceptors, inhibition was blocked with Src tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The data suggest a conserved mechanism by which G protein-coupled receptor activation can inhibit the CaV2 calcium current in nociceptive neurons.

  2. 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

  3. Signaling Mechanisms in the Nitric Oxide Donor- and Amphetamine-Induced Dopamine Release in Mesencephalic Primary Cultured Neurons.

    PubMed

    Salum, Cristiane; Schmidt, Fanny; Michel, Patrick P; Del-Bel, Elaine; Raisman-Vozari, Rita

    2016-01-01

    Previous research has shown that nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitors prevent rodents' sensorimotor gating impairments induced by dopamine releasing drugs, such as amphetamine (Amph) and methylphenidate. The mechanisms of this effect have not been entirely understood. In the present work, we investigated some possible mechanisms by which the NO donor, NOC-12 (3-ethyl-3-(ethylaminoethyl)-1-hydroxy-2-oxo-1-triazene), influence spontaneous and Amph-induced dopamine release, using rat mesencephalic primary cultured neurons preparations. Our results showed that NOC-12 increased dopamine release in a concentration-dependent manner and potentiated the Amph-induced one. Dopamine release induced by NOC-12 was disrupted by N-acetyl-L-cystein (NAC-a free radical scavenger) and MK-801, a NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) non-competitive antagonist, and was concentration dependently affected by oxadiazolo[4,3]quinoxalin-1-one, an inhibitor of the soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC). In contrast, dopamine released by Amph was facilitated by NAC and by MK-801 and not affected by nifedipine (a L-type-Ca(+2) channel blocker), which enhanced NOC-12-induced dopamine release. The present work demonstrates that DA release induced by NOC-12 is partially dependent on sGC and on NMDA activation, and is modulated by L-type Ca(+2) channel and the antioxidant NAC. This mechanism differs from the Amph-induced one, which appears not to depend on L-type Ca(+2) channel and seems to be facilitated by NMDA channel blocking and by NAC. These results suggest that Amph and NOC-12 induce dopamine release through complementary pathways, which may explain the potentiation of Amph-induced dopamine release by NOC-12. These findings contribute to understand the involvement of NO in dopamine-related neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.

  4. Effects of social defeat on dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area in male and female California mice.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Gian D; Steinman, Michael Q; Doig, Ian E; Hao, Rebecca; Trainor, Brian C

    2015-12-01

    Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) have important functions related to rewards but are also activated in aversive contexts. Electrophysiology studies suggest that the degree to which VTA dopamine neurons respond to noxious stimuli is topographically organized across the dorsal-ventral extent. We used c-fos immunohistochemistry to examine the responses of VTA dopamine neurons in contexts of social defeat and social approach. Studying monogamous California mice (Peromyscus californicus) allowed us to observe the effects of social defeat on both males and females. Females exposed to three episodes of defeat, but not a single episode, had more tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)/c-fos-positive cells in the ventral (but not dorsal) VTA compared with controls. This observation suggests that repeated exposure to aversive contexts is necessary to trigger activation of VTA dopamine neurons. Defeat did not affect TH/c-fos colocalizations in males. We also examined the long-term effects of defeat on c-fos expression in a social interaction test. As previously reported, defeat reduced social interaction in females but not males. Surprisingly, there were no effects of defeat stress on TH/c-fos colocalizations in any subregion of the VTA. However, females had more TH/c-fos-positive cells than males across the entire VTA, and also had greater c-fos-positive cell counts in posterior subregions of the nucleus accumbens shell. Our results show that dopamine neurons in the VTA are more responsive to social contexts in females and that the ventral VTA in particular is sensitive to aversive contexts.

  5. Selection Based on FOXA2 Expression Is Not Sufficient to Enrich for Dopamine Neurons From Human Pluripotent Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Aguila, Julio Cesar; Blak, Alexandra; van Arensbergen, Joris; Sousa, Amaia; Vázquez, Nerea; Aduriz, Ariane; Gayosso, Mayela; Lopez Mato, Maria Paz; Lopez de Maturana, Rakel; Hedlund, Eva; Sonntag, Kai-Christian; Sanchez-Pernaute, Rosario

    2014-09-01

    Human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells are potential cell sources for regenerative approaches in Parkinson disease. Inductive differentiation protocols can generate midbrain dopamine neurons but result in heterogeneous cell mixtures. Therefore, selection strategies are necessary to obtain uniform dopamine cell populations. Here, we developed a selection approach using lentivirus vectors to express green fluorescent protein under the promoter region of FOXA2, a transcription factor that is expressed in the floor plate domain that gives rise to dopamine neurons during embryogenesis. We first validated the specificity of the vectors in human cell lines against a promoterless construct. We then selected FOXA2-positive neural progenitors from several human pluripotent stem cell lines, which demonstrated a gene expression profile typical for the ventral domain of the midbrain and floor plate, but failed to enrich for dopamine neurons. To investigate whether this was due to the selection approach, we overexpressed FOXA2 in neural progenitors derived from human pluripotent stem cell lines. FOXA2 forced expression resulted in an increased expression of floor plate but not mature neuronal markers. Furthermore, selection of the FOXA2 overexpressing fraction also failed to enrich for dopamine neurons. Collectively, our results suggest that FOXA2 is not sufficient to induce a dopaminergic fate in this system. On the other hand, our study demonstrates that a combined approach of promoter activation and lentivirus vector technology can be used as a versatile tool for the selection of a defined cell population from a variety of human pluripotent stem cell lines. ©AlphaMed Press.

  6. Insulin induces long-term depression of VTA dopamine neurons via an endocannabinoid-mediated mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Labouèbe, Gwenaël; Liu, Shuai; Dias, Carine; Zou, Haiyan; Wong, Jovi C.Y.; Karunakaran, Subashini; Clee, Susanne M.; Phillips, Anthony; Boutrel, Benjamin; Borgland, Stephanie L.

    2014-01-01

    The prevalence of obesity has drastically increased over the last few decades. Exploration into how hunger and satiety signals influence the reward system can help us to understand non-homeostatic mechanisms of feeding. Evidence suggests that insulin may act in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a critical site for reward-seeking behavior, to suppress feeding. However, the neural mechanisms underlying insulin effects in the VTA remain unknown. We demonstrate that insulin, a circulating catabolic peptide that inhibits feeding, can induce a long-term depression (LTD) of excitatory synapses onto VTA dopamine neurons. This effect requires endocannabinoid-mediated presynaptic inhibition of glutamate release. Furthermore, after a sweetened high fat meal, which elevates endogenous insulin levels, insulin-induced LTD is occluded. Finally, insulin in the VTA reduces food anticipatory behavior and conditioned place preference for food. Taken together, these results suggest that insulin in the VTA suppresses excitatory synaptic transmission and reduces salience of food-related cues. PMID:23354329

  7. 3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine (ecstasy) promotes the survival of fetal dopamine neurons in culture.

    PubMed

    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

    2008-10-01

    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 non-specific 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.

  8. 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.

  9. delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol excites rat VTA dopamine neurons through activation of cannabinoid CB1 but not opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    French, E D

    1997-05-02

    Behavioral, biochemical and recent electrophysiological data have increasingly implicated the involvement of dopamine in the central actions of cannabinoid compounds. However, the site and mechanism by which cannabinoids stimulate dopamine systems has been somewhat controversial. Central opioid systems have also been suggested to play a role in some cannabinoid-induced behaviors as evidenced by their attenuation in the presence of the opioid antagonist naloxone. However, recent studies using the cannabinoid receptor-selective antagonist SR141716A suggest that the central actions of psychoactive cannabinoids are mediated principally through activation of CB1 receptors. Using single cell electrophysiological recordings in the rat we assessed the effects of both SR141716A and naloxone on delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-induced activation of ventral tegmental dopamine neurons. While dopamine cell firing was dose-dependently increased following cumulative dosing with delta9-THC it was partially or completely inhibited following pretreatment with 0.5 and 2 mg/kg SR141716A, respectively. However, 1 and 10 mg/kg naloxone failed to alter the response to delta9-THC. These data provide the first evidence that delta9-THC-induced changes in mesolimbic dopamine neuronal activity are mediated by the CB1 cannabinoid receptor, but a causal link for the involvement of opioid systems could not be established.

  10. Distinct roles of presynaptic dopamine receptors in the differential modulation of the intrinsic synapses of medium-spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Mizuno, Takeo; Schmauss, Claudia; Rayport, Stephen

    2007-01-01

    Background In both schizophrenia and addiction, pathological changes in dopamine release appear to induce alterations in the circuitry of the nucleus accumbens that affect coordinated thought and motivation. Dopamine acts principally on medium-spiny GABA neurons, which comprise 95% of accumbens neurons and give rise to the majority of inhibitory synapses in the nucleus. To examine dopamine action at single medium-spiny neuron synapses, we imaged Ca2+ levels in their presynaptic varicosities in the acute brain slice using two-photon microscopy. Results Presynaptic Ca2+ rises were differentially modulated by dopamine. The D1/D5 selective agonist SKF81297 was exclusively facilitatory. The D2/D3 selective agonist quinpirole was predominantly inhibitory, but in some instances it was facilitatory. Studies using D2 and D3 receptor knockout mice revealed that quinpirole inhibition was either D2 or D3 receptor-mediated, while facilitation was mainly D3 receptor-mediated. Subsets of varicosities responded to both D1 and D2 agonists, showing that there was significant co-expression of these receptor families in single medium-spiny neurons. Neighboring presynaptic varicosities showed strikingly heterogeneous responses to DA agonists, suggesting that DA receptors may be differentially trafficked to individual varicosities on the same medium-spiny neuron axon. Conclusion Dopamine receptors are present on the presynaptic varicosities of medium-spiny neurons, where they potently control GABAergic synaptic transmission. While there is significant coexpression of D1 and D2 family dopamine receptors in individual neurons, at the subcellular level, these receptors appear to be heterogeneously distributed, potentially explaining the considerable controversy regarding dopamine action in the striatum, and in particular the degree of dopamine receptor segregation on these neurons. Assuming that post-receptor signaling is restricted to the microdomains of medium-spiny neuron varicosities

  11. Genetic reduction of mitochondrial complex I function does not lead to loss of dopamine neurons in vivo.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyung-Wook; Choi, Won-Seok; Sorscher, Noah; Park, Hyung Joon; Tronche, François; Palmiter, Richard D; Xia, Zhengui

    2015-09-01

    Inhibition of mitochondrial complex I activity is hypothesized to be one of the major mechanisms responsible for dopaminergic neuron death in Parkinson's disease. However, loss of complex I activity by systemic deletion of the Ndufs4 gene, one of the subunits comprising complex I, does not cause dopaminergic neuron death in culture. Here, we generated mice with conditional Ndufs4 knockout in dopaminergic neurons (Ndufs4 conditional knockout mice [cKO]) to examine the effect of complex I inhibition on dopaminergic neuron function and survival during aging and on 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) treatment in vivo. Ndufs4 cKO mice did not show enhanced dopaminergic neuron loss in the substantia nigra pars compacta or dopamine-dependent motor deficits over the 24-month life span. These mice were just as susceptible to MPTP as control mice. However, compared with control mice, Ndufs4 cKO mice exhibited an age-dependent reduction of dopamine in the striatum and increased α-synuclein phosphorylation in dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta. We also used an inducible Ndufs4 knockout mouse strain (Ndufs4 inducible knockout) in which Ndufs4 is conditionally deleted in all cells in adult to examine the effect of adult onset, complex I inhibition on MPTP sensitivity of dopaminergic neurons. The Ndufs4 inducible knockout mice exhibited similar sensitivity to MPTP as control littermates. These data suggest that mitochondrial complex I inhibition in dopaminergic neurons does contribute to dopamine loss and the development of α-synuclein pathology. However, it is not sufficient to cause cell-autonomous dopaminergic neuron death during the normal life span of mice. Furthermore, mitochondrial complex I inhibition does not underlie MPTP toxicity in vivo in either cell autonomous or nonautonomous manner. These results provide strong evidence that inhibition of mitochondrial complex I activity is not sufficient to cause dopaminergic neuron

  12. Early direct and transneuronal effects in mice with targeted expression of a toxin gene to D1 dopamine receptor neurons.

    PubMed

    Padungchaichot, P; Wong, J Y; Natoli, A L; Massalas, J S; Finkelstein, D I; Lawrence, A L; Drago, J

    2000-01-01

    The neurochemical profile was examined at postnatal day 3-4 in mutant mice generated by in vivo Cre mediated activation of an attenuated diphtheria toxin gene inserted into the D1 dopamine receptor gene locus. An earlier study of this model had shown that D1 dopamine receptor, substance P and dynorphin were not expressed in the striatum. Quantitative in situ hybridization analysis showed an increase in D2 dopamine receptor and enkephalin messenger RNA expression. The nigrostriatal pathway in the mutant pups was intact with a normal number of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and the ventral tegmental area in addition to a normal pattern of striatal dopamine transporter and tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity. Quantitative analysis of striatal dopamine transporter density using [3H]mazindol showed a reduction of 26% suggesting a degree of transneuronal down-regulation. There was also a 49% reduction of striatal GABA receptor binding and a 36% reduction of striatal muscarinic receptor binding in mutant pups. The number of healthy striatal neuropeptide Y-containing interneurons was also substantially down-regulated in the mutant striatum. In contrast, there was an increase in the number of striatal cholinergic interneurons. Down-regulated cortical GABA receptor and muscarinic receptor binding was also observed in addition to subtle morphological changes in the neuropeptide Y-expressing population of cortical neurons. The changes reflect the early cascade of events which follows the ablation of D1 dopamine receptor-positive cells. Although extensive changes in a number of striatal and cortical neurons were demonstrated, only subtle transneuronal effects were seen in the nigrostriatal pathway.

  13. The metal transporter SMF-3/DMT-1 mediates aluminum-induced dopamine neuron degeneration.

    PubMed

    VanDuyn, Natalia; Settivari, Raja; LeVora, Jennifer; Zhou, Shaoyu; Unrine, Jason; Nass, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Aluminum (Al(3+)) is the most prevalent metal in the earth's crust and is a known human neurotoxicant. Al(3+) has been shown to accumulate in the substantia nigra of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), and epidemiological studies suggest correlations between Al(3+) exposure and the propensity to develop both PD and the amyloid plaque-associated disorder Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although Al(3+) exposures have been associated with the development of the most common neurodegenerative disorders, the molecular mechanism involved in Al(3+) transport in neurons and subsequent cellular death has remained elusive. In this study, we show that a brief exposure to Al(3+) decreases mitochondrial membrane potential and cellular ATP levels, and confers dopamine (DA) neuron degeneration in the genetically tractable nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Al(3+) exposure also exacerbates DA neuronal death conferred by the human PD-associated protein α-synuclein. DA neurodegeneration is dependent on SMF-3, a homologue to the human divalent metal transporter (DMT-1), as a functional null mutation partially inhibits the cell death. We also show that SMF-3 is expressed in DA neurons, Al(3+) exposure results in a significant decrease in protein levels, and the neurodegeneration is partially dependent on the PD-associated transcription factor Nrf2/SKN-1 and caspase Apaf1/CED-4. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the deletion of SMF-3 confers Al(3+) resistance due to sequestration of Al(3+) into an intracellular compartment. This study describes a novel model for Al(3+)-induced DA neurodegeneration and provides the first molecular evidence of an animal Al(3+) transporter. © 2012 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  14. Dopamine D2 Receptors Regulate Collateral Inhibition between Striatal Medium Spiny Neurons

    PubMed Central

    van der Goes, Marie-Sophie; Partridge, John G.; Vicini, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    The principle neurons of the striatum are GABAergic medium spiny neurons (MSNs), whose collateral synapses onto neighboring neurons play critical roles in striatal function. MSNs can be divided by dopamine receptor expression into D1-class and D2-class MSNs, and alterations in D2 MSNs are associated with various pathological states. Despite overwhelming evidence for D2 receptors (D2Rs) in maintaining proper striatal function, it remains unclear how MSN collaterals are specifically altered by D2R activation. Here, we report that chronic D2R stimulation regulates MSN collaterals in vitro by presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms. We used corticostriatal cultures from mice in which MSN subtypes were distinguished by fluorophore expression. Quinpirole, an agonist for D2/3 receptors, was used to chronically activate D2Rs. Quinpirole increased the rate and strength of collateral formation onto D2R-containing MSNs as measured by dual whole-cell patch-clamp recordings. Additionally, these neurons were more sensitive to low concentrations of GABA and exhibited an increase in gephyrin puncta density, suggesting increased postsynaptic GABAA receptors. Last, quinpirole treatment increased presynaptic GABA release sites, as shown by increased frequency of sIPSCs and mIPSCs, correlating with increased VGAT (vesicular GABA transporter) puncta. Combined with the observation that there were no detectable differences in sensitivity to specific GABAA receptor modulators, we provide evidence that D2R activation powerfully transforms MSN collaterals via coordinated presynaptic and postsynaptic alterations. As the D2 class of MSNs is highly implicated in Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders, our findings may contribute to understanding and treating the changes that occur in these pathological states. PMID:23986243

  15. Optogenetic activation of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area induces reanimation from general anesthesia.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Norman E; Van Dort, Christa J; Kenny, Jonathan D; Pei, JunZhu; Guidera, Jennifer A; Vlasov, Ksenia Y; Lee, Justin T; Boyden, Edward S; Brown, Emery N; Solt, Ken

    2016-10-24

    Dopamine (DA) promotes wakefulness, and DA transporter inhibitors such as dextroamphetamine and methylphenidate are effective for increasing arousal and inducing reanimation, or active emergence from general anesthesia. DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are involved in reward processing, motivation, emotion, reinforcement, and cognition, but their role in regulating wakefulness is less clear. The current study was performed to test the hypothesis that selective optogenetic activation of VTA DA neurons is sufficient to induce arousal from an unconscious, anesthetized state. Floxed-inverse (FLEX)-Channelrhodopsin2 (ChR2) expression was targeted to VTA DA neurons in DA transporter (DAT)-cre mice (ChR2+ group; n = 6). Optical VTA stimulation in ChR2+ mice during continuous, steady-state general anesthesia (CSSGA) with isoflurane produced behavioral and EEG evidence of arousal and restored the righting reflex in 6/6 mice. Pretreatment with the D1 receptor antagonist SCH-23390 before optical VTA stimulation inhibited the arousal responses and restoration of righting in 6/6 ChR2+ mice. In control DAT-cre mice, the VTA was targeted with a viral vector lacking the ChR2 gene (ChR2- group; n = 5). VTA optical stimulation in ChR2- mice did not restore righting or produce EEG changes during isoflurane CSSGA in 5/5 mice. These results provide compelling evidence that selective stimulation of VTA DA neurons is sufficient to induce the transition from an anesthetized, unconscious state to an awake state, suggesting critical involvement in behavioral arousal.

  16. Striatal Neurons Expressing D1 and D2 Receptors are Morphologically Distinct and Differently Affected by Dopamine Denervation in Mice.

    PubMed

    Gagnon, D; Petryszyn, S; Sanchez, M G; Bories, C; Beaulieu, J M; De Koninck, Y; Parent, A; Parent, M

    2017-01-27

    The loss of nigrostriatal dopamine neurons in Parkinson's disease induces a reduction in the number of dendritic spines on medium spiny neurons (MSNs) of the striatum expressing D1 or D2 dopamine receptor. Consequences on MSNs expressing both receptors (D1/D2 MSNs) are currently unknown. We looked for changes induced by dopamine denervation in the density, regional distribution and morphological features of D1/D2 MSNs, by comparing 6-OHDA-lesioned double BAC transgenic mice (Drd1a-tdTomato/Drd2-EGFP) to sham-lesioned animals. D1/D2 MSNs are uniformly distributed throughout the dorsal striatum (1.9% of MSNs). In contrast, they are heterogeneously distributed and more numerous in the ventral striatum (14.6% in the shell and 7.3% in the core). Compared to D1 and D2 MSNs, D1/D2 MSNs are endowed with a smaller cell body and a less profusely arborized dendritic tree with less dendritic spines. The dendritic spine density of D1/D2 MSNs, but also of D1 and D2 MSNs, is significantly reduced in 6-OHDA-lesioned mice. In contrast to D1 and D2 MSNs, the extent of dendritic arborization of D1/D2 MSNs appears unaltered in 6-OHDA-lesioned mice. Our data indicate that D1/D2 MSNs in the mouse striatum form a distinct neuronal population that is affected differently by dopamine deafferentation that characterizes Parkinson's disease.

  17. 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

  18. In vivo gene transfer to dopamine neurons of rat substantia nigra via the high-affinity neurotensin receptor.

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez-Maya, I.; Navarro-Quiroga, I.; Meraz-Ríos, M. A.; Aceves, J.; Martinez-Fong, D.

    2001-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Recently, we synthesized a nonviral gene vector capable of transfecting cell lines taking advantage of neurotensin (NT) internalization. The vector is NT cross-linked with poly-L-lysine, to which a plasmid DNA was bound to form a complex (NT-polyplex). Nigral dopamine neurons are able to internalize NT, thus representing a target for gene transfer via NT-polyplex. This hypothesis was tested here using reporter genes encoding green fluorescent protein or chloramphenicol acetyl transferase. MATERIALS AND METHODS: NT-polyplex was injected into the substantia nigra. Double immunofluorescence labeling was used to reveal the cell type involved in the propidium iodide-labeled polyplex internalization and reporter gene expression. RESULTS: Polyplex internalization was observed within dopamine neurons but not within glial cells, and was prevented by both hypertonic sucrose solution and SR-48692, a selective nonpeptide antagonist of NT receptors. Reporter gene expression was observed in dopamine neurons from 48 hr up to 15 days after NT-polyplex injection, and was prevented by SR-48692. However, no expression was seen when the NT-polyplex was injected into the ansiform lobule of the cerebellum, which contains low- but not high-affinity NT receptors. Neither internalization nor expression was observed in cultured glial cells, despite the NT-polyplex binding to those cells that was prevented by levocabastine, a low-affinity NT receptor antagonist. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that high-affinity NT receptors mediate the uptake of NT-polyplex with the subsequent reporter gene expression in vivo. NT polyfection may be used to transfer genes of physiologic interest to nigrostriatal dopamine neurons, and to produce transgenic animal models of dopamine-related diseases. PMID:11471555

  19. BK Channels Mediate Dopamine Inhibition of Firing in a Subpopulation of Core Nucleus Accumbens Medium Spiny Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ji, Xincai; Martin, Gilles E.

    2014-01-01

    Dopamine, a key neurotransmitter mediating the rewarding properties of drugs of abuse, is widely believed to exert some of its effects by modulating neuronal activity of nucleus accumbens (NAcc) medium spiny neurons (MSNs). Although its effects on synaptic transmission have been well documented, its regulation of intrinsic neuronal excitability is less understood. In this study, we examined the cellular mechanisms of acute dopamine effects on core accumbens MSNs evoked firing. We found that 0.5 μM A-77636 and 10 μM quinpirole, dopamine D1 (DR1s) and D2 receptor (D2Rs) agonists, respectively, markedly inhibited MSN evoked action potentials. This effect, observed only in about 25% of all neurons, was associated with spike-timing-dependent (STDP) long-term potentiation (tLTP), but not long-term depression (tLTD). Dopamine inhibited evoked firing by compromising subthreshold depolarization, not by altering action potentials themselves. Recordings in voltage-clamp mode revealed that all MSNs expressed fast (IA), slowly inactivating delayed rectifier (Idr), and large conductance voltage- and calcium-activated potassium (BKs) channels . Although A-77636 and quinpirole enhanced IA, its selective blockade by 0.5 μM phrixotoxin-1 had no effect on evoked firing. In contrast, exposing tissue to low TEA concentrations and to 10 μM paxilline, a selective BK channel blocker, prevented D1R agonist from inhibiting MSN firing. This result indicates that dopamine inhibits MSN firing through BK channels in a subpopulation of core accumbens MSNs exclusively associated with spike-timing-dependent long-term potentiation. PMID:25219484

  20. Distinct Physiological Effects of Dopamine D4 Receptors on Prefrontal Cortical Pyramidal Neurons and Fast-Spiking Interneurons.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Ping; Yan, Zhen

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine D4 receptor (D4R), which is strongly linked to neuropsychiatric disorders, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia, is highly expressed in pyramidal neurons and GABAergic interneurons in prefrontal cortex (PFC). In this study, we examined the impact of D4R on the excitability of these 2 neuronal populations. We found that D4R activation decreased the frequency of spontaneous action potentials (sAPs) in PFC pyramidal neurons, whereas it induced a transient increase followed by a decrease of sAP frequency in PFC parvalbumin-positive (PV+) interneurons. D4R activation also induced distinct effects in both types of PFC neurons on spontaneous excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents, which drive the generation of sAP. Moreover, dopamine substantially decreased sAP frequency in PFC pyramidal neurons, but markedly increased sAP frequency in PV+ interneurons, and both effects were partially mediated by D4R activation. In the phencyclidine model of schizophrenia, the decreasing effect of D4R on sAP frequency in both types of PFC neurons was attenuated, whereas the increasing effect of D4R on sAP in PV+ interneurons was intact. These results suggest that D4R activation elicits distinct effects on synaptically driven excitability in PFC projection neurons versus fast-spiking interneurons, which are differentially altered in neuropsychiatric disorder-related conditions.

  1. Strategies for bringing stem cell-derived dopamine neurons to the clinic-The NYSTEM trial.

    PubMed

    Studer, Lorenz

    2017-01-01

    Over the last 10 years, there has been significant progress in defining culture conditions to derive bona fide human midbrain dopamine (mDA) neurons from human embryonic stem cells or from human-induced pluripotent stem cells, two cell sources referred to as human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). Those developments have made it possible to manufacture mDA neurons with at sufficient scale and precision to contemplate their use in cell replacement therapy for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Our group is one of the several teams that are in the process of initiating the first human clinical trials based on the use of mDA neurons derived from hPSCs. With support from the NY state stem cell program (NYSTEM), we have implemented protocols for deriving mDA neurons under current good manufacturing practice-compliant conditions for regulatory approval of the cell-based product for human applications. We have been able to demonstrate that in vitro-derived mDA neurons can be generated under defined conditions and at large scale; that they can be cryopreserved prior to transplantation; and that the cryopreserved product is capable of reversing PD symptoms in rodent models of PD. We have further demonstrated the ability of the cells to engraft in the brain of PD monkeys and defined factors such as the shelf-life of the cells prior to and the viability of the cells after thawing and observed a lack of tumorigenic cells in the preparation. The final steps prior to initiating human trails include extensive safety studies using the fully qualified and cryopreserved mDA neuron products to get data from the exactly same batch of cells to be used for early-stage human studies. Our work sets the stage for developing an off-the-shelf cell therapy for Parkinson's disease that may develop into a valid therapeutic option for PD patients in the future. © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Dysfunction of ventrolateral striatal dopamine receptor type 2-expressing medium spiny neurons impairs instrumental motivation

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui-Kimura, Iku; Takiue, Hiroyuki; Yoshida, Keitaro; Xu, Ming; Yano, Ryutaro; Ohta, Hiroyuki; Nishida, Hiroshi; Bouchekioua, Youcef; Okano, Hideyuki; Uchigashima, Motokazu; Watanabe, Masahiko; Takata, Norio; Drew, Michael R.; Sano, Hiromi; Mimura, Masaru; Tanaka, Kenji F.

    2017-01-01

    Impaired motivation is present in a variety of neurological disorders, suggesting that decreased motivation is caused by broad dysfunction of the nervous system across a variety of circuits. Based on evidence that impaired motivation is a major symptom in the early stages of Huntington's disease, when dopamine receptor type 2-expressing striatal medium spiny neurons (D2-MSNs) are particularly affected, we hypothesize that degeneration of these neurons would be a key node regulating motivational status. Using a progressive, time-controllable, diphtheria toxin-mediated cell ablation/dysfunction technique, we find that loss-of-function of D2-MSNs within ventrolateral striatum (VLS) is sufficient to reduce goal-directed behaviours without impairing reward preference or spontaneous behaviour. Moreover, optogenetic inhibition and ablation of VLS D2-MSNs causes, respectively, transient and chronic reductions of goal-directed behaviours. Our data demonstrate that the circuitry containing VLS D2-MSNs control motivated behaviours and that VLS D2-MSN loss-of-function is a possible cause of motivation deficits in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:28145402

  3. Neuronal and molecular effects of cannabidiol on the mesolimbic dopamine system: Implications for novel schizophrenia treatments.

    PubMed

    Renard, Justine; Norris, Christopher; Rushlow, Walter; Laviolette, Steven R

    2017-04-01

    Growing clinical and pre-clinical evidence points to a critical role for cannabidiol (CBD), the largest phytochemical component of cannabis, as a potential pharmacotherapy for various neuropsychiatric disorders. In contrast to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is associated with acute and neurodevelopmental pro-psychotic side-effects, CBD possesses no known psychoactive or dependence-producing properties. However, evidence has demonstrated that CBD strongly modulates the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system and may possess promising anti-psychotic properties. Despite the psychotropic differences between CBD and THC, little is known regarding their molecular and neuronal effects on the mesolimbic DA system, nor how these differential effects may relate to their potential pro vs. anti-psychotic properties. This review summarizes clinical and pre-clinical evidence demonstrating CBD's modulatory effects on DA activity states within the mesolimbic pathway, functional interactions with the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor system, and their downstream molecular signaling effects. Together with clinical evidence showing that CBD may normalize affective and cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia, CBD may represent a promising treatment for schizophrenia, acting through novel molecular and neuronal mesolimbic substrates. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Enhancement of excitatory postsynaptic potentials by preceding application of acetylcholine in mesencephalic dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Tetsuji; Isa, Tadashi

    2004-05-01

    Previously, we reported that Ca(2+) influx through nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors (nAChRs) activates a fulfenamic acid (FFA)-sensitive inward current, presumably a Ca(2+)-activated nonselective cation current (I(CAN)), in mesencephalic dopamine (DA) neurons. This current exhibited a negative slope conductance in the voltage range between -80 and -40mV and its activation led to a dramatic change in the responses to a transient application of glutamate, from single spikes to burst discharges. In this study, to examine the effect of activation of the FFA-sensitive current on EPSPs, we applied ACh (1mM) by transient air pressure shortly before electrical stimulation to evoke EPSPs in DA neurons. Application of ACh enhanced the amplitude of EPSPs when it preceded the electrical stimulation by less than 2 s, but not when the interval was longer than 3 s. In addition, this enhancement was critically dependent on intracellular Ca(2+) and the membrane potentials of the postsynaptic cell. Furthermore, the enhancing effect of ACh on EPSPs was sensitive to FFA and phenytoin. These results suggest that Ca(2+) influx caused by cholinergic inputs enhances EPSPs via activation of the FFA- and phenytoin-sensitive current.

  5. 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

    2016-09-06

    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. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. A D1 dopamine agonist stimulates acetylcholine release from dissociated striatal cholinergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Login, I S; Harrison, M B

    1996-07-15

    We tested the hypothesis that a D1 dopamine agonist could stimulate acetylcholine release directly from striatal cholinergic neurons. A suspension of viable dissociated striatal cells was made enzymatically and mechanically from normal adult male rats. The heterogeneous suspension was incubated in [3H]choline to allow synthesis of [3H]acetylcholine selectively by cholinergic neurons. Fractional [3H]acetylcholine release from the cholinergic cells in the suspension was recorded during continuous dynamic perifusion. The D1 agonist, 50 microM (+/-) SKF 38393, increased the basal rate of release from the cholinergic cells by 50% and the action was inhibited by the D1 antagonist, SKF 83566. Stimulation of [3H]acetylcholine secretion was recorded as low as 500 nM SKF 38393. The (S, -) SKF 38393 stereoisomer was significantly less effective than the (R, +) isomer in stimulating release. The D1-mediated stimulation of acetylcholine secretion was abolished in a low-calcium environment that also inhibited basal release. The data suggest that striatal cholinergic cells express D1 receptors functionally coupled to the regulation of acetylcholine release. These D1 actions in the absence of synaptic circuitry imply that such circuitry is not required in situ. In vivo however, indirectly mediated D1 actions and those of other transmitters may modify the manifestations of this direct cholinergic stimulation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

    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 (Vh) =−73 mV) representing evoked mGluR1 EPSCs were isolated in the presence of antagonists of AMPA, NMDA, GABAA, GABAB, muscarinic and glycine receptors. CPCCOEt (100 μm), 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

  8. Dopamine D(2)-class receptor supersensitivity as reflected in Ca2+ current modulation in neostriatal neurons.

    PubMed

    Prieto, G A; Perez-Burgos, A; Fiordelisio, T; Salgado, H; Galarraga, E; Drucker-Colin, R; Bargas, J

    2009-12-01

    The loss of dopaminergic neurons followed by dopamine (DA) depletion in the neostriatum is a hallmark of Parkinson's disease. Among other changes, DA D(2)-receptor class (D(2)R-class) supersensitivity is a result of striatal DA depletion. Pharmacological, biochemical and behavioral data have documented this phenomenon, but clear electrophysiological-functional correlates are still lacking. This work describes an electrophysiological correlate of D(2)R-class supersensitivity in DA-depleted striata after unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesions in the rat substantia nigra compacta (SNc). Ca2+ current modulation mediated by D(2)R-class activation reflected an altered sensitivity. Thus, while the concentration-response relationship (C-R plot) from control striata was better fit with a two sites model, the C-R plot obtained from DA-depleted striata was better fit by a three sites model, exhibited a considerable leftward shift, and presented an increased maximal response. Because Ca2+ current modulation by D(2)R-class activation is involved in the control of spiny neurons excitability and their synaptic GABA release, the present findings may help to explain several functional changes found in the striatal circuitry after dopaminergic denervation.

  9. Midbrain dopamine neurons bidirectionally regulate CA3-CA1 synaptic drive.

    PubMed

    Rosen, Zev B; Cheung, Stephanie; Siegelbaum, Steven A

    2015-12-01

    Dopamine (DA) is required for hippocampal-dependent memory and long-term potentiation (LTP) at CA1 Schaffer collateral (SC) synapses. It is therefore surprising that exogenously applied DA has little effect on SC synapses, but suppresses CA1 perforant path (PP) inputs. To examine DA actions under more physiological conditions, we used optogenetics to release DA from ventral tegmental area inputs to hippocampus. Unlike exogenous DA application, optogenetic release of DA caused a bidirectional, activity-dependent modulation of SC synapses, with no effect on PP inputs. Low levels of DA release, simulating tonic DA neuron firing, depressed the SC response through a D4 receptor-dependent enhancement of feedforward inhibition mediated by parvalbumin-expressing interneurons. Higher levels of DA release, simulating phasic firing, increased SC responses through a D1 receptor-dependent enhancement of excitatory transmission. Thus, tonic-phasic transitions in DA neuron firing in response to motivational demands may cause a modulatory switch from inhibition to enhancement of hippocampal information flow.

  10. The angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor captopril protects nigrostriatal dopamine neurons in animal models of parkinsonism

    PubMed Central

    Sonsalla, Patricia K.; Coleman, Christal; Wong, Lai-Yoong; Harris, Suzan L.; Richardson, Jason R.; Gadad, Bharathi S.; Li, Wenhao; German, Dwight C.

    2013-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a prominent loss of nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) neurons with an accompanying neuroinflammation. The peptide angiotensin II (AngII) plays a role in oxidative-stress induced disorders and is thought to mediate its detrimental actions via activation of AngII AT1 receptors. The brain renin-angiotensin system is implicated in neurodegenerative disorders including PD. Blockade of the angiotensin converting enzyme or AT1 receptors provides protection in acute animal models of parkinsonism. We demonstrate here that treatment of mice with the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor captopril protects the striatum from acutely administered 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyrine (MPTP), and that chronic captopril protects the nigral DA cell bodies from degeneration in a progressive rat model of parkinsonism created by the chronic intracerebral infusion of 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+). The accompanying activation of microglia in the substantia nigra of MPP+-treated rats was reduced by the chronic captopril treatment. These findings indicate that captopril is neuroprotective for nigrostriatal DA neurons in both acute and chronic rodent PD models. Targeting the brain AngII pathway may be a feasible approach to slowing neurodegeneration in PD. PMID:24184050

  11. The angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor captopril protects nigrostriatal dopamine neurons in animal models of parkinsonism.

    PubMed

    Sonsalla, Patricia K; Coleman, Christal; Wong, Lai-Yoong; Harris, Suzan L; Richardson, Jason R; Gadad, Bharathi S; Li, Wenhao; German, Dwight C

    2013-12-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a prominent loss of nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) neurons with an accompanying neuroinflammation. The peptide angiotensin II (AngII) plays a role in oxidative-stress induced disorders and is thought to mediate its detrimental actions via activation of AngII AT1 receptors. The brain renin-angiotensin system is implicated in neurodegenerative disorders including PD. Blockade of the angiotensin converting enzyme or AT1 receptors provides protection in acute animal models of parkinsonism. We demonstrate here that treatment of mice with the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor captopril protects the striatum from acutely administered 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyrine (MPTP), and that chronic captopril protects the nigral DA cell bodies from degeneration in a progressive rat model of parkinsonism created by the chronic intracerebral infusion of 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+). The accompanying activation of microglia in the substantia nigra of MPP+-treated rats was reduced by the chronic captopril treatment. These findings indicate that captopril is neuroprotective for nigrostriatal DA neurons in both acute and chronic rodent PD models. Targeting the brain AngII pathway may be a feasible approach to slowing neurodegeneration in PD. © 2013.

  12. Dual phenotype kisspeptin-dopamine neurones of the rostral periventricular area of the third ventricle project to gonadotrophin-releasing hormone neurones.

    PubMed

    Clarkson, J; Herbison, A E

    2011-04-01

    The neuropeptide kisspeptin and its G-protein-coupled receptor, Gpr54, are critical regulators of fertility. Two major populations of kisspeptin neurones exist in the rodent: one in the rostral periventricular area of the third ventricle (RP3V) and another in the arcuate nucleus. The RP3V population of kisspeptin neurones is crucial for the generation of the luteinising hormone surge that drives ovulation in females. The RP3V kisspeptin neurones are sexually dimorphic, with many more neurones in females than males, and they project to gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurones. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expressing neurones in the RP3V are also sexually dimorphic and are assumed to project to GnRH neurones. In the present study, we examined the coexpression of kisspeptin and TH peptides in the RP3V of dioestrous and pro-oestrous female mice. We also investigated whether kisspeptin and TH peptides colocalised in terminal appositions with GnRH neurones in the rostral preoptic area (rPOA). Approximately half of the kisspeptin neurones in the RP3V were found to also express TH and vice versa, although there was no difference between mice in dioestrus or pro-oestrus. The majority (95%) of GnRH neurones in the rPOA exhibited a close apposition from a kisspeptin fibre, whereas only one quarter exhibited a close apposition from a TH fibre. Many of the TH close appositions with GnRH neurones coexpressed kisspeptin (62-86%), although these dual-labelled appositions comprised <20% of all kisspeptin appositions on GnRH neurones. The percentage of GnRH neurones with kisspeptin, TH and double-labelled appositions did not differ between dioestrous and pro-oestrous mice. These findings indicate that a subpopulation of kisspeptin neurones expressing dopamine innervate GnRH neurones in the rPOA. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neuroendocrinology © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. The role of parkin in the differential susceptibility of tuberoinfundibular and nigrostriatal dopamine neurons to acute toxicant exposure.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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 24h 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 24h 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 24h 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.

  16. Synaptic Neurotransmission Depression in Ventral Tegmental Dopamine Neurons and Cannabinoid-Associated Addictive Learning

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhiqiang; Han, Jing; Jia, Lintao; Maillet, Jean-Christian; Bai, Guang; Xu, Lin; Jia, Zhengping; Zheng, Qiaohua; Zhang, Wandong; Monette, Robert; Merali, Zul; Zhu, Zhou; Wang, Wei; Ren, Wei; Zhang, Xia

    2010-01-01

    Drug addiction is an association of compulsive drug use with long-term associative learning/memory. Multiple forms of learning/memory are primarily subserved by activity- or experience-dependent synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Recent studies suggest LTP expression in locally activated glutamate synapses onto dopamine neurons (local Glu-DA synapses) of the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA) following a single or chronic exposure to many drugs of abuse, whereas a single exposure to cannabinoid did not significantly affect synaptic plasticity at these synapses. It is unknown whether chronic exposure of cannabis (marijuana or cannabinoids), the most commonly used illicit drug worldwide, induce LTP or LTD at these synapses. More importantly, whether such alterations in VTA synaptic plasticity causatively contribute to drug addictive behavior has not previously been addressed. Here we show in rats that chronic cannabinoid exposure activates VTA cannabinoid CB1 receptors to induce transient neurotransmission depression at VTA local Glu-DA synapses through activation of NMDA receptors and subsequent endocytosis of AMPA receptor GluR2 subunits. A GluR2-derived peptide blocks cannabinoid-induced VTA synaptic depression and conditioned place preference, i.e., learning to associate drug exposure with environmental cues. These data not only provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, that NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic depression at VTA dopamine circuitry requires GluR2 endocytosis, but also suggest an essential contribution of such synaptic depression to cannabinoid-associated addictive learning, in addition to pointing to novel pharmacological strategies for the treatment of cannabis addiction. PMID:21187978

  17. Dopamine receptor-mediated mechanisms involved in the expression of learned activity of primate striatal neurons.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, K; Kimura, M

    1998-05-01

    To understand the mechanisms by which basal ganglia neurons express acquired activities during and after behavioral learning, selective dopamine (DA) receptor antagonists were applied while recording the activity of striatal neurons in monkeys performing behavioral tasks. In experiment 1, a monkey was trained to associate a click sound with a drop of reward water. DA receptor antagonists were administered by micropressure using a stainless steel injection cannula (300 microm ID) through which a Teflon-coated tungsten wire for recording neuronal activity had been threaded. Responses to sound by tonically active neurons (TANs), a class of neurons in the primate striatum, were recorded through a tungsten wire electrode during the application of either D1- or D2-class DA receptor antagonists (total volume <1 microl, at a rate of 1 microl/5-10 min). Application of the D2-class antagonist, (-)-sulpiride (20 micrograms/microl, 58 mM, pH 6.8), abolished the responses of four of five TANs examined. In another five TANs, neither the D2-class antagonist nor the D1-class antagonists, SCH23390 (10 micrograms/microl, 31 mM, pH 5.7) or cis-flupenthixol (30 micrograms/microl, 59 mM, pH 6.6) significantly suppressed responses. In experiment 2, four- or five-barreled glass microelectrodes were inserted into the striatum. The central barrel was used for extracellular recording of activity of TANs. Each DA receptor antagonist was iontophoretically applied through one of the surrounding barrels. SCH23390 (10 mM, pH 4.5) and (-)-sulpiride (10 mM, pH 4.5) were used. The effects of iontophoresis of both D1- and D2-class antagonists were examined in 40 TANs. Of 40 TANs from which recordings were made, responses were suppressed exclusively by the D2-class antagonist in 19 TANs, exclusively by the D1-class antagonist in 3 TANs, and by both D1- and D2-class antagonists in 7 TANs. When 0.9% NaCl, saline, was applied by pressure (<1 microl) or by iontophoresis (<30 nA) as a control, neither the

  18. 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.

  19. WAVE1 in neurons expressing the D1 dopamine receptor regulates cellular and behavioral actions of cocaine

    PubMed Central

    Ceglia, Ilaria; Lee, Ko-Woon; Cahill, Michael E.; Graves, Steven M.; Dietz, David; Surmeier, Dalton J.; Nestler, Eric J.; Nairn, Angus C.; Kim, Yong

    2017-01-01

    Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) family verprolin homologous protein 1 (WAVE1) regulates actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex-mediated actin polymerization. Our previous studies have found WAVE1 to be inhibited by Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation in brain and to play a role in the regulation of dendritic spine morphology. Here we report that mice in which WAVE1 was knocked out (KO) in neurons expressing the D1 dopamine receptor (D1-KO), but not mice where WAVE1 was knocked out in neurons expressing the D2 dopamine receptor (D2-KO), exhibited a significant decrease in place preference associated with cocaine. In contrast to wild-type (WT) and WAVE1 D2-KO mice, cocaine-induced sensitized locomotor behavior was not maintained in WAVE1 D1-KO mice. After chronic cocaine administration and following withdrawal, an acute cocaine challenge induced WAVE1 activation in striatum, which was assessed by dephosphorylation. The cocaine-induced WAVE1 dephosphorylation was attenuated by coadministration of either a D1 dopamine receptor or NMDA glutamate receptor antagonist. Upon an acute challenge of cocaine following chronic cocaine exposure and withdrawal, we also observed in WT, but not in WAVE1 D1-KO mice, a decrease in dendritic spine density and a decrease in the frequency of excitatory postsynaptic AMPA receptor currents in medium spiny projection neurons expressing the D1 dopamine receptor (D1-MSNs) in the nucleus accumbens. These results suggest that WAVE1 is involved selectively in D1-MSNs in cocaine-evoked neuronal activity-mediated feedback regulation of glutamatergic synapses. PMID:28115704

  20. Neurotensin polyplex as an efficient carrier for delivering the human GDNF gene into nigral dopamine neurons of hemiparkinsonian rats.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Barrios, Juan A; Lindahl, Maria; Bannon, Michael J; Anaya-Martínez, Veronica; Flores, Gonzalo; Navarro-Quiroga, Ivan; Trudeau, Louis E; Aceves, Jorge; Martinez-Arguelles, Daniel B; Garcia-Villegas, Refugio; Jiménez, Ismael; Segovia, Jose; Martinez-Fong, Daniel

    2006-12-01

    Recently we showed that the neurotensin polyplex is a nanoparticle carrier system that targets reporter genes in nigral dopamine neurons in vivo. Herein, we report its first practical application in experimental parkinsonism, which consisted of transfecting dopamine neurons with the gene coding for human glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (hGDNF). Hemiparkinsonism was induced in rats by a single dose of 6-hydroxydopamine (30 microg) into the ventrolateral part of the striatum. We showed that transfection of the hGDNF gene into the substantia nigra of rats 1 week after the neurotoxin injection produced biochemical, anatomical, and functional recovery from hemiparkinsonism. RT-PCR analysis showed mRNA expression of exogenous hGDNF in the transfected substantia nigra. Western blot analysis verified transgene expression by recognizing the flag epitope added at the C-terminus of the hGDNF polypeptide, which was found mainly in dopamine neurons by double immunofluorescence techniques. These data indicate that the neurotensin polyplex holds great promise for the neuroprotective therapy of Parkinson disease.

  1. Structural plasticity in mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons produced by drugs of abuse: critical role of BDNF and dopamine.

    PubMed

    Collo, Ginetta; Cavalleri, Laura; Spano, PierFranco

    2014-01-01

    Mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons were suggested to be a critical physiopathology substrate for addiction disorders. Among neuroadaptive processes to addictive drugs, structural plasticity has attracted attention. While structural plasticity occurs at both pre- and post-synaptic levels in the mesolimbic dopaminergic system, the present review focuses only on dopaminergic neurons. Exposures to addictive drugs determine two opposite structural responses, hypothrophic plasticity produced by opioids and cannabinoids (in particular during the early withdrawal phase) and hypertrophic plasticity, mostly driven by psychostimulants and nicotine. In vitro and in vivo studies identified BDNF and extracellular dopamine as two critical factors in determining structural plasticity, the two molecules sharing similar intracellular pathways involved in cell soma and dendrite growth, the MEK-ERK1/2 and the PI3K-Akt-mTOR, via preferential activation of TrkB and dopamine D3 receptors, respectively. At present information regarding specific structural changes associated to the various stages of the addiction cycle is incomplete. Encouraging neuroimaging data in humans indirectly support the preclinical evidence of hypotrophic and hypertrophic effects, suggesting a possible differential engagement of dopamine neurons in parallel and partially converging circuits controlling motivation, stress, and emotions.

  2. Mice lacking the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α gene present reduced number of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra without altering motor behavior or dopamine neuron decline over life.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Aparicio, R; Flores, J A; Tasset, I; Tunez, I; Fernandez-Espejo, E

    2011-07-14

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR-α), which is expressed by neurons of the nigrostriatal circuit, plays a prominent role in oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. The objectives were: (i) to discern if levels of antioxidant molecules and pro-inflammatory cytokines, along with PPAR-γ expression are modified in the nigrostriatal region of null PPAR-α mice, (ii) to discern whether dopaminergic neuronal features of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and dorsal striatum are affected in null mice, and (iii) to establish if aging-induced decline of nigral neurons is different in null PPAR-α mice relative to wild-type littermates. A substantial decrease in antioxidant molecules was found in SNpc of null mice, by using ELISA. The pro-inflammatory factors TNF-α and IL-3 were found to be reduced in the substantia nigra, suggesting dual and opposite effects of PPAR-α deficiency on oxidative and pro-inflammatory molecules. Immunohistological and stereological studies revealed that young null mice present a smaller SNpc (-19.8%; TH downregulation was discarded). Normal locomotion in an open-field was not affected in null mice. Dopamine cell death could be caused by reduced protection against oxidative stress. Old null mice showed a percentage reduction of nigral dopamine neurons similar to that of young null animals, with a rate of decline over life of around 44%, the same value than that of wild-type littermates. These findings suggest that nuclear PPAR-α is necessary for the normal development of the substantia nigra along with normal levels of antioxidant molecules. Lack of PPAR-α does not modify the normal motor behavior of mice or decline of nigral dopamine neurons throughout life. Copyright © 2011 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Cocaine sensitization increases subthreshold activity in dopamine neurons from the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Arencibia-Albite, Francisco; Vázquez-Torres, Rafael; Jiménez-Rivera, Carlos A

    2017-02-01

    The progressive escalation of psychomotor responses that results from repeated cocaine administration is termed sensitization. This phenomenon alters the intrinsic properties of dopamine (DA) neurons from the ventral tegmental area (VTA), leading to enhanced dopaminergic transmission in the mesocorticolimbic network. The mechanisms underlying this augmented excitation are nonetheless poorly understood. DA neurons display the hyperpolarization-activated, nonselective cation current, dubbed Ih We recently demonstrated that Ih and membrane capacitance are substantially reduced in VTA DA cells from cocaine-sensitized rats. The present study shows that 7 days of cocaine withdrawal did not normalize Ih and capacitance. In cells from cocaine-sensitized animals, the amplitude of excitatory synaptic potentials, at -70 mV, was ∼39% larger in contrast to controls. Raise and decay phases of the synaptic signal were faster under cocaine, a result associated with a reduced membrane time constant. Synaptic summation was paradoxically elevated by cocaine exposure, as it consisted of a significantly reduced summation indexed but a considerably increased depolarization. These effects are at least a consequence of the reduced capacitance. Ih attenuation is unlikely to explain such observations, since at -70 mV, no statistical differences exist in Ih or input resistance. The neuronal shrinkage associated with a diminished capacitance may help to understand two fundamental elements of drug addiction: incentive sensitization and negative emotional states. A reduced cell size may lead to substantial enhancement of cue-triggered bursting, which underlies drug craving and reward anticipation, whereas it could also result in DA depletion, as smaller neurons might express low levels of tyrosine hydroxylase. This work uses a new approach that directly extracts important biophysical parameters from alpha function-evoked synaptic potentials. Two of these parameters are the cell membrane

  4. Dopamine D2 receptors in striatal output neurons enable the psychomotor effects of cocaine

    PubMed Central

    Kharkwal, Geetika; Radl, Daniela; Lewis, Robert; Borrelli, Emiliana

    2016-01-01

    The psychomotor effects of cocaine are mediated by dopamine (DA) through stimulation of striatal circuits. Gabaergic striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) are the only output of this pivotal structure in the control of movements. The majority of MSNs express either the DA D1 or D2 receptors (D1R, D2R). Studies have shown that the motor effect of cocaine depends on the DA-mediated stimulation of D1R-expressing MSNs (dMSNs), which is mirrored at the cellular level by stimulation of signaling pathways leading to phosphorylation of ERKs and induction of c-fos. Nevertheless, activation of dMSNs by cocaine is necessary but not sufficient, and D2R signaling is required for the behavioral and cellular effects of cocaine. Indeed, cocaine motor effects and activation of signaling in dMSNs are blunted in mice with the constitutive knockout of D2R (D2RKO). Using mouse lines with a cell-specific knockout of D2R either in MSNs (MSN-D2RKO) or in dopaminergic neurons (DA-D2RKO), we show that D2R signaling in MSNs is required and permissive for the motor stimulant effects of cocaine and the activation of signaling in dMSNs. MSN-D2RKO mice show the same phenotype as constitutive D2RKO mice both at the behavioral and cellular levels. Importantly, activation of signaling in dMSNs by cocaine is rescued by intrastriatal injection of the GABA antagonist, bicuculline. These results are in support of intrastriatal connections of D2R+-MSNs (iMSNs) with dMSNs and indicate that D2R signaling in MSNs is critical for the function of intrastriatal circuits. PMID:27671625

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  6. Selective COX-2 inhibition prevents progressive dopamine neuron degeneration in a rat model of Parkinson's disease

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Pernaute, Rosario; Ferree, Andrew; Cooper, Oliver; Yu, Meixiang; Brownell, Anna-Liisa; Isacson, Ole

    2004-01-01

    Several lines of evidence point to a significant role of neuroinflammation in Parkinson's disease (PD) and other neurodegenerative disorders. In the present study we examined the protective effect of celecoxib, a selective inhibitor of the inducible form of cyclooxygenase (COX-2), on dopamine (DA) cell loss in a rat model of PD. We used the intrastriatal administration of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) that induces a retrograde neuronal damage and death, which progresses over weeks. Animals were randomized to receive celecoxib (20 mg/kg/day) or vehicle starting 1 hour before the intrastriatal administration of 6-OHDA. Evaluation was performed in vivo using micro PET and selective radiotracers for DA terminals and microglia. Post mortem analysis included stereological quantification of tyrosine hydroxylase, astrocytes and microglia. 12 days after the 6-OHDA lesion there were no differences in DA cell or fiber loss between groups, although the microglial cell density and activation was markedly reduced in animals receiving celecoxib (p < 0.01). COX-2 inhibition did not reduce the typical astroglial response in the striatum at any stage. Between 12 and 21 days, there was a significant progression of DA cell loss in the vehicle group (from 40 to 65%) that was prevented by celecoxib. Therefore, inhibition of COX-2 by celecoxib appears to be able, either directly or through inhibition of microglia activation to prevent or slow down DA cell degeneration. PMID:15285796

  7. 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.

  8. D1/D5 dopamine receptors stimulate intracellular calcium release in primary cultures of neocortical and hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Lezcano, Nelson; Bergson, Clare

    2002-04-01

    D1/D5 dopamine receptors in basal ganglia, hippocampus, and cerebral cortex modulate motor, reward, and cognitive behavior. Previous work with recombinant proteins revealed that in cells primed with heterologous G(q/11)-coupled G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) agonists, the typically G(s)-linked D1/D5 receptors can stimulate robust release of calcium from internal stores when coexpressed with calcyon. To learn more about the intracellular signaling mechanisms underlying these D1/D5 receptor regulated behaviors, we explored the possibility that endogenous receptors stimulate internal release of calcium in neurons. We have identified a population of neurons in primary cultures of hippocampus and neocortex that respond to D1/D5 dopamine receptor agonists with a marked increase in intracellular calcium (Ca) levels. The D1/D5 receptor stimulated responses occurred in the absence of extracellular Ca(2+) indicating the rises in Ca involve release from internal stores. In addition, the responses were blocked by D1/D5 receptor antagonists. Further, the D1/D5 agonist-evoked responses were state dependent, requiring priming with agonists of G(q/11)-coupled glutamate, serotonin, muscarinic, and adrenergic receptors or with high external K(+) solution. In contrast, D1/D5 receptor agonist-evoked Ca(2+) responses were not detected in neurons derived from striatum. However, D1/D5 agonists elevated cAMP levels in striatal cultures as effectively as in neocortical and hippocampal cultures. Further, neither forskolin nor 8-Br-cAMP stimulation following priming was able to mimic the D1/D5 agonist-evoked Ca(2+) response in neocortical neurons indicating that increased cAMP levels are not sufficient to stimulate Ca release. Our data suggest that D1-like dopamine receptors likely modulate neocortical and hippocampal neuronal excitability and synaptic function via Ca(2+) as well as cAMP-dependent signaling.

  9. Striatal Neurons Expressing D1 and D2 Receptors are Morphologically Distinct and Differently Affected by Dopamine Denervation in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Gagnon, D.; Petryszyn, S.; Sanchez, M. G.; Bories, C.; Beaulieu, J. M.; De Koninck, Y.; Parent, A.; Parent, M.

    2017-01-01

    The loss of nigrostriatal dopamine neurons in Parkinson’s disease induces a reduction in the number of dendritic spines on medium spiny neurons (MSNs) of the striatum expressing D1 or D2 dopamine receptor. Consequences on MSNs expressing both receptors (D1/D2 MSNs) are currently unknown. We looked for changes induced by dopamine denervation in the density, regional distribution and morphological features of D1/D2 MSNs, by comparing 6-OHDA-lesioned double BAC transgenic mice (Drd1a-tdTomato/Drd2-EGFP) to sham-lesioned animals. D1/D2 MSNs are uniformly distributed throughout the dorsal striatum (1.9% of MSNs). In contrast, they are heterogeneously distributed and more numerous in the ventral striatum (14.6% in the shell and 7.3% in the core). Compared to D1 and D2 MSNs, D1/D2 MSNs are endowed with a smaller cell body and a less profusely arborized dendritic tree with less dendritic spines. The dendritic spine density of D1/D2 MSNs, but also of D1 and D2 MSNs, is significantly reduced in 6-OHDA-lesioned mice. In contrast to D1 and D2 MSNs, the extent of dendritic arborization of D1/D2 MSNs appears unaltered in 6-OHDA-lesioned mice. Our data indicate that D1/D2 MSNs in the mouse striatum form a distinct neuronal population that is affected differently by dopamine deafferentation that characterizes Parkinson’s disease. PMID:28128287

  10. Elevated Dopamine Levels During Gestation Produce Region-specific Decreases in Neurogenesis and Subtle Deficits in Neuronal Numbers

    PubMed Central

    McCarthy, Deirdre; Lueras, Paula; Bhide, Pradeep G.

    2007-01-01

    Dopamine levels in the fetal brain were increased by administering the dopamine precursor 3,4-dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine (L-DOPA) to pregnant mice in drinking water. The L-DOPA exposure decreased bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) labeling in the lateral ganglionic eminence and frontal cortical neuroepithelium but not medial or caudal ganglionic eminences. The regional differences appear to reflect heterogeneity in precursor cells’ responses to dopamine receptor activation. Relative numbers of E15 generated neurons were decreased at postnatal day 21 (P21) in the caudate-putamen, nucleus accumbens and frontal cortex but not globus pallidus in the L-DOPA group. TUNEL labeling did not show significant differences on P0, P7 or P14 in the caudate-putamen or frontal cortex, suggesting that cell death was not altered. Although virtually all cells in the P21 brains that were labeled with the E15 BrdU injection were NeuN-positive, stereological analyses showed no significant changes in total numbers of NeuN-positive or NeuN-negative cells in the P21 caudate-putamen or frontal cortex. Thus persisting deficits in neuronal numbers were evident in the L-DOPA group only by birth-dating analyses and not upon gross histological examination of brain sections or analysis of total numbers of neurons or glia. One explanation for this apparent discrepancy is that L-DOPA exposure decreased cell proliferation at E15 but not at E13. By E15, expansion of the neuroepithelial precursor pool is complete and any decrease in cell proliferation likely produces only marginal decreases in the total numbers of cells generated. Our L-DOPA exposure model may be pertinent to investigations of neurological dysfunction produced by developmental dopamine imbalance. PMID:17950709

  11. The human testis determining factor SRY localizes in midbrain dopamine neurons and regulates multiple components of catecholamine synthesis and metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Czech, Daniel P.; Lee, Joohyung; Sim, Helena; Parish, Clare L.; Vilain, Eric; Harley, Vincent R.

    2012-01-01

    The male sex is determined by the sex determining region on the Y chromosome (SRY) transcription factor. The unexpected action of SRY in the control of voluntary movement in male rodents suggests a role in regulation of dopamine transmission and dopamine-related disorders with sex bias such as Parkinson’s disease. We investigated SRY expression in the human brain and function in vitro. SRY immunoreactivity was detected in the human male, but not female, substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) within a sub-population of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) positive neurons. SRY protein also co-localised with TH positive neurons in the ventral tegmental area and GAD-positive neurons in the substantia nigra pars reticulate (SNr). Retinoic acid-induced differentiation of precursor NT2 cells into dopaminergic cells (NT2N) increased expression of TH, NURR1, D2R and SRY. In the human neuroblastoma cell line, M17, SRY knockdown resulted in a reduction in TH, DDC, DBH and MAO-A expression; enzymes which control dopamine synthesis and metabolism. Conversely, SRY overexpression increased TH, DDC, DBH, D2R and MAO-A levels, which was accompanied by increased extracellular dopamine levels. A luciferase assay demonstrated that SRY activated a 4.6 kb 5′ upstream regulatory region of the human TH promoter/nigral enhancer. Combined, these results suggest that SRY may play a role as a positive regulator of catecholamine synthesis and metabolism in the human male midbrain. Given the limitations of human tissue analysis, further studies are required to provide a definitive answer on SRY expression in human brain regions. PMID:22568433

  12. Negative reward signals from lateral habenula to dopamine neurons are mediated by rostromedial tegmental nucleus in primates

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Simon; Jhou, Thomas C.; Smith, Mitchell; Saleem, Kadharbatcha S.; Hikosaka, Okihide

    2012-01-01

    Lateral habenula (LHb) neurons signal negative ‘reward-prediction errors’ and inhibit midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons. Yet LHb neurons are largely glutamatergic, indicating that this inhibition may occur through an intermediate structure. Recent studies in rats have suggested a candidate for this role, the GABAergic rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg), but this neural pathway has not yet been directly tested. We now show using electrophysiology and anatomic tracing that (1) the monkey has an inhibitory structure similar to the rat RMTg; (2) RMTg neurons receive excitatory input from the LHb, exhibit negative reward-prediction errors, and send axonal projections near DA soma; and (3) stimulating this structure inhibits DA neurons. Surprisingly, some RMTg neurons responded to reward cues earlier than the LHb, and carry "state value" signals not found in DA neurons. Thus, our data suggest that the RMTg translates LHb reward-prediction errors (negative) into DA reward-prediction errors (positive), while transmitting additional motivational signals to non-DA networks. PMID:21832176

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Ultrastructural characterization of the mesostriatal dopamine innervation in mice, including two mouse lines of conditional VGLUT2 knockout in dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Bérubé-Carrière, Noémie; Guay, Ginette; Fortin, Guillaume M; Kullander, Klas; Olson, Lars; Wallén-Mackenzie, Åsa; Trudeau, Louis-Eric; Descarries, Laurent

    2012-02-01

    Despite the increasing use of genetically modified mice to investigate the dopamine (DA) system, little is known about the ultrastructural features of the striatal DA innervation in the mouse. This issue is particularly relevant in view of recent evidence for expression of the vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2) by a subset of mesencephalic DA neurons in mouse as well as rat. We used immuno-electron microscopy to characterize tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-labeled terminals in the core and shell of nucleus accumbens and the neostriatum of two mouse lines in which the Vglut2 gene was selectively disrupted in DA neurons (cKO), their control littermates, and C57BL/6/J wild-type mice, aged P15 or adult. The three regions were also examined in cKO mice and their controls of both ages after dual TH-VGLUT2 immunolabeling. Irrespective of the region, age and genotype, the TH-immunoreactive varicosities appeared similar in size, vesicular content, percentage with mitochondria, and exceedingly low frequency of synaptic membrane specialization. No dually labeled axon terminals were found at either age in control or in cKO mice. Unless TH and VGLUT2 are segregated in different axon terminals of the same neurons, these results favor the view that the glutamatergic cophenotype of mesencephalic DA neurons is more important during the early development of these neurons than for the establishment of their scarce synaptic connectivity. They also suggest that, in mouse even more than rat, the mesostriatal DA system operates mainly through non-targeted release of DA, diffuse transmission and the maintenance of an ambient DA level.

  16. Atypical dopamine transporter inhibitors R-modafinil and JHW 007 differentially affect D2 autoreceptor neurotransmission and the firing rate of midbrain dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Avelar, Alicia J; Cao, Jianjing; Newman, Amy Hauck; Beckstead, Michael J

    2017-09-01

    Abuse of psychostimulants like cocaine that inhibit dopamine (DA) reuptake through the dopamine transporter (DAT) represents a major public health issue, however FDA-approved pharmacotherapies have yet to be developed. Recently a class of ligands termed "atypical DAT inhibitors" has gained attention due to their range of effectiveness in increasing extracellular DA levels without demonstrating significant abuse liability. These compounds not only hold promise as therapeutic agents to treat stimulant use disorders but also as experimental tools to improve our understanding of DAT function. Here we used patch clamp electrophysiology in mouse brain slices to explore the effects of two atypical DAT inhibitors (R-modafinil and JHW 007) on the physiology of single DA neurons in the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area. Despite their commonalities of being DAT inhibitors that lack cocaine-like behavioral profiles, these compounds exhibited surprisingly divergent cellular effects. Similar to cocaine, R-modafinil slowed DA neuron firing in a D2 receptor-dependent manner and rapidly enhanced the amplitude and duration of D2 receptor-mediated currents in the midbrain. In contrast, JHW 007 exhibited little effect on firing, slow DAT blockade, and an unexpected inhibition of D2 receptor-mediated currents that may be due to direct D2 receptor antagonism. Furthermore, pretreatment with JHW 007 blunted the cellular effects of cocaine, suggesting that it may be valuable to investigate similar DAT inhibitors as potential therapeutic agents. Further exploration of these and other atypical DAT inhibitors may reveal important cellular effects of compounds that will have potential as pharmacotherapies for treating cocaine use disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The Nucleus Reuniens of the Midline Thalamus Gates Prefrontal-Hippocampal Modulation of Ventral Tegmental Area Dopamine Neuron Activity

    PubMed Central

    Grace, Anthony A.

    2016-01-01

    The circuitry mediating top-down control of dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is exceedingly complex. Characterizing these networks will be critical to our understanding of fundamental behaviors, such as motivation and reward processing, as well as several disease states. Previous work suggests that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) exerts a profound influence on VTA DA neuron firing. Recently, our group reported that inhibition of the infralimbic subdivision of the medial prefrontal cortex (ilPFC) increases the proportion of VTA DA neurons that are spontaneously active (i.e., “population activity”) and that this effect depends on activity in the ventral subiculum of the hippocampus (vSub). However, there is no direct projection from the mPFC to the vSub. Anatomical evidence suggests that communication between the two structures is mediated by the nucleus reuniens of the midline thalamus (RE). Here, we used in vivo electrophysiological and behavioral approaches in rats to explore the role of the RE in the circuitry governing VTA DA neuron firing. We show that pharmacological stimulation of the RE enhances VTA DA neuron population activity and amphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion, a behavioral indicator of an over-responsive DA system. Furthermore, the effect of RE stimulation on population activity is prevented if vSub is also inhibited. Finally, pharmacological inhibition of ilPFC enhances VTA DA neuron population activity, but this effect does not occur if RE is also inhibited. These findings suggest that disruption of ilPFC–RE–vSub communication could lead to a dysregulated, hyperdopaminergic state, and may play a role in psychiatric disorders. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are involved in a variety of fundamental brain functions. To understand the neurobiological basis for these functions it is essential to identify regions controlling DA neuron activity. The medial prefrontal

  18. [Modulating effect of dopamine on amplitude of GABA-produced chemocontrolled currents in multipolar spinal cord neurons of ammocaete].

    PubMed

    Bukinich, A A

    2010-01-01

    By using the patch-clamp method in the whole cell configuration, modulating effect of dopamine on GABA-activated currents has been studied on isolated multipolar spinal cord neurons of the ammocaete (larva of the lamprey Lampetra planeri). At application of dopamine (5 microM), there was observed in some cases a decrease of the GABA-activated current, on average, by 33.3 +/- 8.7 (n = 8, p < 0.01), in other cases--an increase of the amplitude, on average, by 37.3 +/- 11.8% (n = 5, p < 0.01). Concentration of GABA amounted to 2 mM. Study of action of agonists of D1- and D2-receptors on amplitude of che-mocontrolled currents has shown that agonist of D1-receptors (+)-SKF-38393 (5 microM) decreases the GABA-activated current amplitude, on average, by 63.1 +/- 11.7% (n = 8, p < 0.01); the agonist of D2-receptors (-)-quinpirole (5 microM) produces in various cells the dopamine-like effects: an increase of the GABA-activated current amplitude, on average, by 61.0 +/- 13.8% (n = 8, p < 0.01) and a decrease of amplitude, on average, by 55.7 +/- 2.0 % (n = 6, p < 0.01). It has been shown that antagonist of D2-receptors sulpiride (5 microM) does not block effects produced by dopamine. The dopamine effects were partially blocked by antagonist of D1-receptors (+)-SCH-23390 (5 microM): a decrease of the GABA-activated amplitude current amounted, on average, to 11.7 +/- 1.8 % (n = 7, p < 0.01), while an increase of amplitude--8.3 +/- 2.0 % (n = 5,p < 0.01). At the same time, effects of agonist of D1-receptors quinpirole (5 microM) were partially blocked by antagonist of D1-receptors (+)-SCH-23390: a decrease of the GABA-activated current amplitude amounted, on average, to 9.2 +/- 3.4 % (n = 6, p < 0.01) and an increase of amplitude--6.3 +/- 1.8 % (n = 10, p < 0.01). The obtained data indicate differences of mechanisms of the receptor-mediated effect of agonists of dopamine receptors on GABA-activated and potential-activated currents of multipolar neurons of the ammocaete spinal

  19. RGS2 modulates coupling between GABAB receptors and GIRK channels in dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Labouèbe, Gwenaël; Lomazzi, Marta; Cruz, Hans G; Creton, Cyril; Luján, Rafael; Li, Meng; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Obata, Kunihiko; Watanabe, Masahiko; Wickman, Kevin; Boyer, Stephanie B; Slesinger, Paul A; Lüscher, Christian

    2007-12-01

    Agonists of GABA(B) receptors exert a bi-directional effect on the activity of dopamine (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area, which can be explained by the fact that coupling between GABA(B) receptors and G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels is significantly weaker in DA neurons than in GABA neurons. Thus, low concentrations of agonists preferentially inhibit GABA neurons and thereby disinhibit DA neurons. This disinhibition might confer reinforcing properties on addictive GABA(B) receptor agonists such as gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and its derivatives. Here we show that, in DA neurons of mice, the low coupling efficiency reflects the selective expression of heteromeric GIRK2/3 channels and is dynamically modulated by a member of the regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) protein family. Moreover, repetitive exposure to GHB increases the GABA(B) receptor-GIRK channel coupling efficiency through downregulation of RGS2. Finally, oral self-administration of GHB at a concentration that is normally rewarding becomes aversive after chronic exposure. On the basis of these results, we propose a mechanism that might underlie tolerance to GHB.

  20. 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. © 2014 AlphaMed Press.

  1. [Peculiarities of dopamine receptors on the membrane of spinal cord multipolar neurons of the brook lamprey Lampetra planeri].

    PubMed

    Bukinich, A a; Tsvetkov, E A; Veselkin, N P

    2007-01-01

    On isolated multiporal neurons of spinal cord of amniocoete larva of the brook lamprey Lampetra planeri, by the patch-clamp method in configuration "the whole cell", a modulating effect of dopamine on potential-activated Na+ currents was studied. Application of dopamine (10 microM) was shown to produce a complex action on the sodium current amplitude. In some cases a decrease of the amplitude, on average, by 13.5 +/- 2.2% was found, while in others--an increase, on average, by 8.6 +/- 6.1%. The modulation dopamine effect was not accompanied by any changes either of the threshold of the current appearance or of resistance of neuronal cell membranes. Pharmacological analysis with use of dopamine agonist has shown that the agonist of D1-receptors (-)-SKF-38393 (10 microM) decreases the Na+ current amplitude, whereas the agonist of D2-receptors (-)-quinpirole (10 microM) can produce in different cells both an increase, by 30.7 +/- 17.0 %, and a decrease, by 13.2 +/- 3.1%, of the Na+ current amplitude. The obtained data indicate the existence of D1- and D2-receptors on the membrane of multipolar spinal neurons of the amniocoete larva of the brook lamprey. Study of action of antagonists has shown that the antagonist of D1-receptors (+)-SCH-23390 (10 microM) does not affect action of the agonist of D1-receptors (-)-SKF-38393 (10 microM); the antagonist of D2-receptors (-)-sulpiride (10 microM) blocks completely effects both of the agonist of D1-receptors (-)-SKF-38393 (10 microM) and of the agonist of D2-receptors (-)-quinpirole (10 microM). The antagonist of D1-receptors (+)-SCH-23390 (10 microM) produced no effect on action of the agonist of D1-receptors (-)-SKF-38393 (10 microM). The obtained data indicate peculiarities of dopamine receptors of Cyclostomata as compared with those in mammals.

  2. Parkin and PINK1 Patient iPSC-Derived Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Exhibit Mitochondrial Dysfunction and α-Synuclein Accumulation.

    PubMed

    Chung, Sun Young; Kishinevsky, Sarah; Mazzulli, Joseph R; Graziotto, John; Mrejeru, Ana; Mosharov, Eugene V; Puspita, Lesly; Valiulahi, Parvin; Sulzer, David; Milner, Teresa A; Taldone, Tony; Krainc, Dimitri; Studer, Lorenz; Shim, Jae-Won

    2016-10-11

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by the selective loss of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra; however, the mechanism of neurodegeneration in PD remains unclear. A subset of familial PD is linked to mutations in PARK2 and PINK1, which lead to dysfunctional mitochondria-related proteins Parkin and PINK1, suggesting that pathways implicated in these monogenic forms could play a more general role in PD. We demonstrate that the identification of disease-related phenotypes in PD-patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived midbrain dopamine (mDA) neurons depends on the type of differentiation protocol utilized. In a floor-plate-based but not a neural-rosette-based directed differentiation strategy, iPSC-derived mDA neurons recapitulate PD phenotypes, including pathogenic protein accumulation, cell-type-specific vulnerability, mitochondrial dysfunction, and abnormal neurotransmitter homeostasis. We propose that these form a pathogenic loop that contributes to disease. Our study illustrates the promise of iPSC technology for examining PD pathogenesis and identifying therapeutic targets. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Amantadine protects dopamine neurons by a dual action: reducing activation of microglia and inducing expression of GDNF in astroglia [corrected].

    PubMed

    Ossola, Bernardino; Schendzielorz, Nadia; Chen, Shih-Heng; Bird, Gary S; Tuominen, Raimo K; Männistö, Pekka T; Hong, Jau-Shyong

    2011-09-01

    Amantadine is commonly given to alleviate L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. Animal and human evidence showed that amantadine may also exert neuroprotection in several neurological disorders. Additionally, it is generally believed that this neuroprotection results from the ability of amantadine to inhibit glutamatergic NMDA receptor. However, several lines of evidence questioned the neuroprotective capacity of NMDA receptor antagonists in animal models of PD. Thus the cellular and molecular mechanism of neuroprotection of amantadine remains unclear. Using primary cultures with different composition of neurons, microglia, and astroglia we investigated the direct role of these glial cell types in the neuroprotective effect of amantadine. First, amantadine protected rat midbrain cultures from either MPP(+) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS), two toxins commonly used as PD models. Second, our studies revealed that amantadine reduced both LPS- and MPP(+)-induced toxicity of dopamine neurons through 1) the inhibition of the release of microglial pro-inflammatory factors, 2) an increase in expression of neurotrophic factors such as GDNF from astroglia. Lastly, differently from the general view on amantadine's action, we provided evidence suggesting that NMDA receptor inhibition was not crucial for the neuroprotective effect of amantadine. In conclusion, we report that amantadine protected dopamine neurons in two PD models through a novel dual mechanism, namely reducing the release of pro-inflammatory factors from activated microglia and increasing the expression of GNDF in astroglia.

  4. Increased dopamine D2 receptor activity in the striatum alters the firing pattern of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area

    PubMed Central

    Krabbe, Sabine; Duda, Johanna; Schiemann, Julia; Poetschke, Christina; Schneider, Gaby; Kandel, Eric R.; Liss, Birgit; Roeper, Jochen; Simpson, Eleanor H.

    2015-01-01

    There is strong evidence that the core deficits of schizophrenia result from dysfunction of the dopamine (DA) system, but details of this dysfunction remain unclear. We previously reported a model of transgenic mice that selectively and reversibly overexpress DA D2 receptors (D2Rs) in the striatum (D2R-OE mice). D2R-OE mice display deficits in cognition and motivation that are strikingly similar to the deficits in cognition and motivation observed in patients with schizophrenia. Here, we show that in vivo, both the firing rate (tonic activity) and burst firing (phasic activity) of identified midbrain DA neurons are impaired in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), but not in the substantia nigra (SN), of D2R-OE mice. Normalizing striatal D2R activity by switching off the transgene in adulthood recovered the reduction in tonic activity of VTA DA neurons, which is concordant with the rescue in motivation that we previously reported in our model. On the other hand, the reduction in burst activity was not rescued, which may be reflected in the observed persistence of cognitive deficits in D2R-OE mice. We have identified a potential molecular mechanism for the altered activity of DA VTA neurons in D2R-OE mice: a reduction in the expression of distinct NMDA receptor subunits selectively in identified mesolimbic DA VTA, but not nigrostriatal DA SN, neurons. These results suggest that functional deficits relevant for schizophrenia symptoms may involve differential regulation of selective DA pathways. PMID:25675529

  5. Prenatal exposure to bisphenol A impacts midbrain dopamine neurons and hippocampal spine synapses in non-human primates.

    PubMed

    Elsworth, John D; Jentsch, J David; Vandevoort, Catherine A; Roth, Robert H; Redmond, D Eugene; Leranth, Csaba

    2013-03-01

    Prevalent use of bisphenol-A (BPA) in the manufacture of resins, plastics and paper products has led to frequent exposure of most people to this endocrine disruptor. Some rodent studies have suggested that BPA can exert detrimental effects on brain development. However as rodent models cannot be relied on to predict consequences of human exposure to BPA during development, it is important to investigate the effects of BPA on non-human primate brain development. Previous research suggests that BPA preferentially targets dopamine neurons in ventral mesencephalon and glutamatergic neurons in hippocampus, so the present work examined the susceptibility of these systems to low dose BPA exposure at the fetal and juvenile stages of development in non-human primates. Exposure of pregnant rhesus monkeys to relatively low levels of BPA during the final 2 months of gestation, induced abnormalities in fetal ventral mesencephalon and hippocampus. Specifically, light microscopy revealed a decrease in tyrosine hydroxylase-expressing (dopamine) neurons in the midbrain of BPA-exposed fetuses and electron microscopy identified a reduction in spine synapses in the CA1 region of hippocampus. In contrast, administration of BPA to juvenile vervet monkeys (14-18 months of age) was without effect on these indices, or on dopamine and serotonin concentrations in striatum and prefrontal cortex, or on performance of a cognitive task that tests working memory capacity. These data indicate that BPA exerts an age-dependent detrimental impact on primate brain development, at blood levels within the range measured in humans having only environmental contact with BPA.

  6. Prenatal exposure to bisphenol A impacts midbrain dopamine neurons and hippocampal spine synapses in non-human primates

    PubMed Central

    Elsworth, John D.; Jentsch, J. David; VandeVoort, Catherine A.; Roth, Robert H.; Redmond, D. Eugene; Leranth, Csaba

    2013-01-01

    Prevalent use of bisphenol-A (BPA) in the manufacture of resins, plastics and paper products has led to frequent exposure of most people to this endocrine disruptor. Some rodent studies have suggested that BPA can exert detrimental effects on brain development. However as rodent models cannot be relied on to predict consequences of human exposure to BPA during development, it is important to investigate the effects of BPA on non-human primate brain development. Previous research suggests that BPA preferentially targets dopamine neurons in ventral mesencephalon and glutamatergic neurons in hippocampus, so the present work examined the susceptibility of these systems to low dose BPA exposure at the fetal and juvenile stages of development in non-human primates. Exposure of pregnant rhesus monkeys to relatively low levels of BPA during the final 2 months of gestation, induced abnormalities in fetal ventral mesencephalon and hippocampus. Specifically, light microscopy revealed a decrease in tyrosine hydroxylase-expressing (dopamine) neurons in the midbrain of BPA-exposed fetuses and electron microscopy identified a reduction in spine synapses in the CA1 region of hippocampus. In contrast, administration of BPA to juvenile vervet monkeys (14–18 months of age) was without effect on these indices, or on dopamine and serotonin concentrations in striatum and prefrontal cortex, or on performance of a cognitive task that tests working memory capacity. These data indicate that BPA exerts an age-dependent detrimental impact on primate brain development, at blood levels within the range measured in humans having only environmental contact with BPA. PMID:23337607

  7. Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Partially Ameliorates Motor Symptoms Without Slowing Neurodegeneration in Mice With Respiratory Chain-Deficient Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Sterky, Fredrik H.; Pernold, Karin; Harvey, Brandon K.; Lindqvist, Eva; Hoffer, Barry J.; Olson, Lars

    2013-01-01

    Degeneration of midbrain dopamine neurons causes the striatal dopamine deficiency responsible for the hallmark motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Intraparenchymal delivery of neurotrophic factors, such as glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), is a possible future therapeutic approach. In animal PD models, GDNF can both ameliorate neurodegeneration and promote recovery of the dopamine system following a toxic insult. However, clinical studies have generated mixed results, and GDNF has not been efficacious in genetic animal models based on α-synuclein overexpression. We have tested the response to GDNF in a genetic mouse PD model with progressive degeneration of dopamine neurons caused by mitochondrial impairment. We find that GDNF, delivered to the striatum by either an adeno-associated virus or via miniosmotic pumps, partially alleviates the progressive motor symptoms without modifying the rate of neurodegeneration. These behavioral changes are accompanied by increased levels of dopamine in the midbrain, but not in striatum. At high levels, GDNF may instead reduce striatal dopamine levels. These results demonstrate the therapeutic potential of GDNF in a progressively impaired dopamine system. PMID:23051605

  8. 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

  9. Role of melatonin, serotonin 2B, and serotonin 2C receptors in modulating the firing activity of rat dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Chenu, Franck; Shim, Stacey; El Mansari, Mostafa; Blier, Pierre

    2014-02-01

    Melatonin has been widely used for the management of insomnia, but is devoid of antidepressant effect in the clinic. In contrast, agomelatine which is a potent melatonin receptor agonist is an effective antidepressant. It is, however, a potent serotonin 2B (5-HT(2B)) and serotonin 2C (5-HT(2C)) receptor antagonist as well. The present study was aimed at investigating the in vivo effects of repeated administration of melatonin (40 mg/kg/day), the 5-HT(2C) receptor antagonist SB 242084 (0.5 mg/kg/day), the selective 5-HT(2B) receptor antagonist LY 266097 (0.6 mg/kg/day) and their combination on ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA), locus coeruleus (LC) norepinephrine (NE), and dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) serotonin (5-HT) firing activity. Administration of melatonin twice daily increased the number of spontaneously active DA neurons but left the firing of NE neurons unaltered. Long-term administration of melatonin and SB 242084, by themselves, had no effect on the firing rate and burst parameters of 5-HT and DA neurons. Their combination, however, enhanced only the number of spontaneously active DA neurons, while leaving the firing of 5-HT neurons unchanged. The addition of LY 266097, which by itself is devoid of effect, to the previous regimen increased for DA neurons the number of bursts per minute and the percentage of spikes occurring in bursts. In conclusion, the combination of melatonin receptor activation as well as 5-HT(2C) receptor blockade resulted in a disinhibition of DA neurons. When 5-HT(2B) receptors were also blocked, the firing and the bursting activity of DA neurons were both enhanced, thus reproducing the effect of agomelatine.

  10. Attenuating GABA(A) receptor signaling in dopamine neurons selectively enhances reward learning and alters risk preference in mice.

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-23

    Phasic dopamine (DA) transmission encodes the value of reward-predictive stimuli and influences both learning and decision-making. Altered DA signaling is associated with psychiatric conditions characterized by risky choices such as pathological gambling. These observations highlight the importance of understanding how DA neuron activity is modulated. While excitatory drive onto DA neurons is critical for generating phasic DA responses, emerging evidence suggests that inhibitory signaling also modulates these responses. To address the functional importance of inhibitory signaling in DA neurons, we generated mice lacking the β3 subunit of the GABA(A) receptor specifically in DA neurons (β3-KO mice) and examined their behavior in tasks that assessed appetitive learning, aversive learning, and risk preference. DA neurons in midbrain slices from β3-KO mice exhibited attenuated GABA-evoked IPSCs. Furthermore, electrical stimulation of excitatory afferents to DA neurons elicited more DA 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 DA 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 GABA(A) signaling in DA neurons in appetitive learning and decision-making.

  11. Ventral tegmental area dopamine and GABA neurons: Physiological properties and expression of mRNA for endocannabinoid biosynthetic elements

    PubMed Central

    Merrill, Collin B.; Friend, Lindsey N.; Newton, Scott T.; Hopkins, Zachary H.; Edwards, Jeffrey G.

    2015-01-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is involved in adaptive reward and motivation processing and is composed of dopamine (DA) and GABA neurons. Defining the elements regulating activity and synaptic plasticity of these cells is critical to understanding mechanisms of reward and addiction. While endocannabinoids (eCBs) that potentially contribute to addiction are known to be involved in synaptic plasticity mechanisms in the VTA, where they are produced is poorly understood. In this study, DA and GABAergic cells were identified using electrophysiology, cellular markers, and a transgenic mouse model that specifically labels GABA cells. Using single-cell RT-qPCR and immunohistochemistry, we investigated mRNA and proteins involved in eCB signaling such as diacylglycerol lipase α, N-acyl-phosphatidylethanolamine-specific phospholipase D, and 12-lipoxygenase, as well as type I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). Our results demonstrate the first molecular evidence of colocalization of eCB biosynthetic enzyme and type I mGluR mRNA in VTA neurons. Further, these data reveal higher expression of mGluR1 in DA neurons, suggesting potential differences in eCB synthesis between DA and GABA neurons. These data collectively suggest that VTA GABAergic and DAergic cells have the potential to produce various eCBs implicated in altering neuronal activity or plasticity in adaptive motivational reward or addiction. PMID:26553597

  12. Ventral tegmental area dopamine and GABA neurons: Physiological properties and expression of mRNA for endocannabinoid biosynthetic elements.

    PubMed

    Merrill, Collin B; Friend, Lindsey N; Newton, Scott T; Hopkins, Zachary H; Edwards, Jeffrey G

    2015-11-10

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is involved in adaptive reward and motivation processing and is composed of dopamine (DA) and GABA neurons. Defining the elements regulating activity and synaptic plasticity of these cells is critical to understanding mechanisms of reward and addiction. While endocannabinoids (eCBs) that potentially contribute to addiction are known to be involved in synaptic plasticity mechanisms in the VTA, where they are produced is poorly understood. In this study, DA and GABAergic cells were identified using electrophysiology, cellular markers, and a transgenic mouse model that specifically labels GABA cells. Using single-cell RT-qPCR and immunohistochemistry, we investigated mRNA and proteins involved in eCB signaling such as diacylglycerol lipase α, N-acyl-phosphatidylethanolamine-specific phospholipase D, and 12-lipoxygenase, as well as type I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). Our results demonstrate the first molecular evidence of colocalization of eCB biosynthetic enzyme and type I mGluR mRNA in VTA neurons. Further, these data reveal higher expression of mGluR1 in DA neurons, suggesting potential differences in eCB synthesis between DA and GABA neurons. These data collectively suggest that VTA GABAergic and DAergic cells have the potential to produce various eCBs implicated in altering neuronal activity or plasticity in adaptive motivational reward or addiction.

  13. Dopamine modified hyperbranched TiO2 arrays based ultrasensitive photoelectrochemical immunosensor for detecting neuron specific enolase.

    PubMed

    Li, He; Xiao, Qiyou; Lv, Jiaxin; Lei, Qin; Huang, Yujie

    2017-08-15

    In this work, three-dimensional (3D) hyperbranched TiO2 nanorod arrays were synthesized and used to fabricate dopamine sensitized photoelectrochemical (PEC) biosensor. To increase the lifetime of charge carriers and enhance the photocurrent responses signal, a delicate signal amplification strategy by introducing dopamine (DA) as sensitizer was developed. The dopamine sensitized TiO2 can shorten the carrier diffusion distance, improve light harvesting efficiency and charge collection efficiency, which results in performance improvement of the as-obtained PEC sensor. This proposed biosensor for determination of neuron specific enolase (NSE) demonstrated a good linear relationship range from 0.1 ng mL(-1) to 1000 ng mL(-1) with a detection limit of 0.05 ngmL(-1) (S/N = 3). In addition, the as-prepared immunosensor exhibits excellent selectivity, stability and reproducibility, which could be extended to other label-free sensing fields. Therefore, this proposed method may also provide potential applications for the clinical examination. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Mathematical analysis of depolarization block mediated by slow inactivation of fast sodium channels in midbrain dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Qian, Kun; Yu, Na; Tucker, Kristal R.; Levitan, Edwin S.

    2014-01-01

    Dopamine neurons in freely moving rats often fire behaviorally relevant high-frequency bursts, but depolarization block limits the maximum steady firing rate of dopamine neurons in vitro to ∼10 Hz. Using a reduced model that faithfully reproduces the sodium current measured in these neurons, we show that adding an additional slow component of sodium channel inactivation, recently observed in these neurons, qualitatively changes in two different ways how the model enters into depolarization block. First, the slow time course of inactivation allows multiple spikes to be elicited during a strong depolarization prior to entry into depolarization block. Second, depolarization block occurs near or below the spike threshold, which ranges from −45 to −30 mV in vitro, because the additional slow component of inactivation negates the sodium window current. In the absence of the additional slow component of inactivation, this window current produces an N-shaped steady-state current-voltage (I-V) curve that prevents depolarization block in the experimentally observed voltage range near −40 mV. The time constant of recovery from slow inactivation during the interspike interval limits the maximum steady firing rate observed prior to entry into depolarization block. These qualitative features of the entry into depolarization block can be reversed experimentally by replacing the native sodium conductance with a virtual conductance lacking the slow component of inactivation. We show that the activation of NMDA and AMPA receptors can affect bursting and depolarization block in different ways, depending upon their relative contributions to depolarization versus to the total linear/nonlinear conductance. PMID:25185810

  15. Regulation of Nociceptive Plasticity Threshold and DARPP-32 Phosphorylation in Spinal Dorsal Horn Neurons by Convergent Dopamine and Glutamate Inputs

    PubMed Central

    Buesa, Itsaso; Aira, Zigor

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine can influence NMDA receptor function and regulate glutamate-triggered long-term changes in synaptic strength in several regions of the CNS. In spinal cord, regulation of the threshold of synaptic plasticity may determine the proneness to undergo sensitization and hyperresponsiveness to noxious input. In the current study, we increased endogenous dopamine levels in the dorsal horn by using re-uptake inhibitor GBR 12935. During the so-induced hyperdopaminergic transmission, conditioning low-frequency (1 Hz) stimulation (LFS) to the sciatic nerve induced long-term potentiation (LTP) of C-fiber-evoked potentials in dorsal horn neurons. The magnitude of LTP was attenuated by blockade of either dopamine D1-like receptors (D1LRs) by with SCH 23390 or NMDA receptor subunit NR2B with antagonist Ro25-6981. Conditioning LFS during GBR 12935 administration increased phosphorylation of dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein of Mr 32kDa (DARPP-32) at threonine 34 residue in synaptosomal (P3) fraction of dorsal horn homogenates, as assessed by Western blot analysis, which was partially prevented by NR2B blockade prior to conditioning stimulation. Conditioning LFS also was followed by higher co-localization of phosphorylated form of NR2B at tyrosine 1472 and pDARPP-32Thr34- with postsynaptic marker PSD-95 in transverse L5 dorsal horn sections. Such increase could be significantly attenuated by D1LR blockade with SCH 23390. The current results support that coincidental endogenous recruitment of D1LRs and NR2B in dorsal horn synapses plays a role in regulating afferent-induced nociceptive plasticity. Parallel increases in DARPP-32 phosphorylation upon LTP induction suggests a role for this phosphoprotein as intracellular detector of convergent D1L- and NMDA receptor activation. PMID:27610622

  16. Dopamine DARPP-32-Dependent Modulation of Prefrontal Cortical Input and Intercellular Coupling in Mouse Accumbens Spiny and Aspiny Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Onn, S-P; Lin, M; Liu, J; Grace, AA

    2010-01-01

    The roles of DARPP-32 in mediating dopamine (DA)-dependent modulation of corticoaccumbens transmission and intercellular coupling were examined in mouse accumbens (NAC) neurons by both intracellular sharp electrode and whole cell recordings. In wildtype (WT) mice bath application of the D2-like agonist quinpirole resulted in 73% coupling incidence in NAC spiny neurons, compared to baseline (9%), whereas quinpirole failed to affect the basal coupling (24%) in slices from DARPP-32 knockout (KO) mice. Thus, D2 stimulation attenuated DARPP-32-mediated suppression of coupling in WT spiny neurons, but this modulation was absent in KO mice. Further, whole cell recordings revealed that quinpirole reversibly decreased the amplitude of cortical-evoked EPSPs in spiny neurons of WT mice, but this reduction was markedly attenuated in KO mice. Bath application of the D1/D5 agonist SKF 38393 did not alter evoked EPSP amplitude in WT or KO spiny neurons. Therefore, DA D2 receptor regulation of both cortical synaptic (chemical) and local non-synaptic (dye coupling) communications in NAC spiny neurons is critically dependent on intracellular DARPP-32 cascades. Conversely, in fast-spiking interneurons, blockade of D1/D5 receptors produced a substantial decrease in EPSP amplitude in WT, but not in KO mice. Lastly, in putative cholinergic interneurons, cortical-evoked disynaptic IPSPs were attenuated by D2-like receptor stimulation in WT but not KO slices. These data indicate that DARPP-32 plays a central role in 1) modulating intercellular coupling, 2) cortical excitatory drive of spiny and aspiny GABAergic neurons, and 3) local feedforward inhibitory drive of cholinergic-like interneurons within accumbens circuits PMID:18155847

  17. Induction of functional dopamine neurons from human astrocytes in vitro and mouse astrocytes in a Parkinson's disease model.

    PubMed

    Rivetti di Val Cervo, Pia; Romanov, Roman A; Spigolon, Giada; Masini, Débora; Martín-Montañez, Elisa; Toledo, Enrique M; La Manno, Gioele; Feyder, Michael; Pifl, Christian; Ng, Yi-Han; Sánchez, Sara Padrell; Linnarsson, Sten; Wernig, Marius; Harkany, Tibor; Fisone, Gilberto; Arenas, Ernest

    2017-05-01

    Cell replacement therapies for neurodegenerative disease have focused on transplantation of the cell types affected by the pathological process. Here we describe an alternative strategy for Parkinson's disease in which dopamine neurons are generated by direct conversion of astrocytes. Using three transcription factors, NEUROD1, ASCL1 and LMX1A, and the microRNA miR218, collectively designated NeAL218, we reprogram human astrocytes in vitro, and mouse astrocytes in vivo, into induced dopamine neurons (iDANs). Reprogramming efficiency in vitro is improved by small molecules that promote chromatin remodeling and activate the TGFβ, Shh and Wnt signaling pathways. The reprogramming efficiency of human astrocytes reaches up to 16%, resulting in iDANs with appropriate midbrain markers and excitability. In a mouse model of Parkinson's disease, NeAL218 alone reprograms adult striatal astrocytes into iDANs that are excitable and correct some aspects of motor behavior in vivo, including gait impairments. With further optimization, this approach may enable clinical therapies for Parkinson's disease by delivery of genes rather than cells.

  18. Autocrine activation of neuronal NMDA receptors by aspartate mediates dopamine- and cAMP-induced CREB-dependent gene transcription

    PubMed Central

    Almeida, Luis E. F.; Murray, Peter D.; Zielke, H. Ronald; Roby, Clinton D.; Kingsbury, Tami J.; Krueger, Bruce K.

    2009-01-01

    Cyclic AMP can stimulate the transcription of many activity-dependent genes via activation of the transcription factor, CREB. However, in mouse cortical neuron cultures, prior to synaptogenesis, neither cAMP nor dopamine, which acts via cAMP, stimulated CREB-dependent gene transcription when NR2B-containing NMDA receptors (NMDARs) were blocked. Stimulation of transcription by cAMP was potentiated by inhibitors of excitatory amino acid uptake, suggesting a role for extracellular glutamate or aspartate in cAMP-induced transcription. Aspartate was identified as the extracellular messenger: enzymatic scavenging of L-aspartate, but not glutamate, blocked stimulation of CREB-dependent gene transcription by cAMP; moreover, cAMP induced aspartate but not glutamate release. Taken together, these results suggest that cAMP acts via an autocrine or paracrine pathway to release aspartate, which activates NR2B-containing NMDARs, leading to Ca2+ entry and activation of transcription. This cAMP/aspartate/NMDAR signaling pathway may mediate the effects of transmitters such as dopamine on axon growth and synaptogenesis in developing neurons or on synaptic plasticity in mature neural networks. PMID:19812345

  19. Newly paired zebra finches have higher dopamine levels and immediate early gene Fos expression in dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Sunayana B; Dias, Brian G; Crews, David; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2013-12-01

    Most birds are socially monogamous, yet little is known about the neural pathways underlying avian monogamy. Recent studies have implicated dopamine as playing a role in courtship and affiliation in a socially monogamous songbird, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). In the present study, we sought to understand the specific contribution to pair formation in zebra finches of the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway that projects from the midbrain ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens. We observed that paired birds had higher levels of dopamine and its metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid in the ventral medial striatum, where the nucleus accumbens is situated, than unpaired birds. Additionally, we found that the percentage of dopaminergic neurons expressing immediate early gene Fos, a marker of neuronal activity, was higher in the ventral tegmental area of paired birds than in that of unpaired birds. These data are consistent with a role for the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway in pair formation in zebra finches, suggesting the possibility of a conserved neural mechanism of monogamy in birds and mammals.

  20. Characterisation of the interaction of the C-terminus of the dopamine D2 receptor with neuronal calcium sensor-1.

    PubMed

    Lian, Lu-Yun; Pandalaneni, Sravan R; Patel, Pryank; McCue, Hannah V; Haynes, Lee P; Burgoyne, Robert D

    2011-01-01

    NCS-1 is a member of the neuronal calcium sensor (NCS) family of EF-hand Ca(2+) binding proteins which has been implicated in several physiological functions including regulation of neurotransmitter release, membrane traffic, voltage gated Ca(2+) channels, neuronal development, synaptic plasticity, and learning. NCS-1 binds to the dopamine D2 receptor, potentially affecting its internalisation and controlling dopamine D2 receptor surface expression. The D2 receptor binds NCS-1 via a short 16-residue cytoplasmic C-terminal tail. We have used NMR and fluorescence spectroscopy to characterise the interactions between the NCS-1/Ca(2+) and D2 peptide. The data show that NCS-1 binds D2 peptide with a K(d) of ∼14.3 µM and stoichiometry of peptide binding to NCS-1 of 2:1. NMR chemical shift mapping confirms that D2 peptide binds to the large, solvent-exposed hydrophobic groove, on one face of the NCS-1 molecule, with residues affected by the presence of the peptide spanning both the N and C-terminal portions of the protein. The NMR and mutagenesis data further show that movement of the C-terminal helix 11 of NCS-1 to fully expose the hydrophobic groove is important for D2 peptide binding. Molecular docking using restraints derived from the NMR chemical shift data, together with the experimentally-derived stoichiometry, produced a model of the complex between NCS-1 and the dopamine receptor, in which two molecules of the receptor are able to simultaneously bind to the NCS-1 monomer.

  1. The neurobiology of tetrahydrobiopterin biosynthesis: a model for regulation of GTP cyclohydrolase I gene transcription within nigrostriatal dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Kapatos, Gregory

    2013-04-01

    Within the brain, the reduced pteridine cofactor 6R-L-erythro-5,6,7,8-tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) is absolutely required for the synthesis of the monoamine (MA) neurotransmitters dopamine (DA), norepinephrine, epinephrine (E), and serotonin (5-HT), the novel gaseous neurotransmitter nitric oxide and the production of yet to be identified 1-O-alkylglycerol-derived lipids. GTP cyclohydrolase I (GTPCH) catalyzes the first and limiting step in the BH4 biosynthetic pathway, which is now thought to involve up to eight different proteins supporting six alternate de novo and two alternate salvage pathways. Gene expression analysis across different regions of the human brain shows the abundance of transcripts coding for all eight of these proteins to be highly correlated with each other and to be enriched within human MA neurons. The potential for multiple routes for BH4 synthesis therefore exists within the human brain. GTPCH expression is particularly heterogeneous across different populations of human and rodent MA-containing neurons, with low expression levels and therefore BH4 being a characteristic of nigrostriatal DA (NSDA) neurons. Basic knowledge of how GCH1 gene transcription is controlled within NSDA neurons may explain the distinctive susceptibility of these neurons to human genetic mutations that result in BH4 deficiency. A model for cyclic adenosine monophosphate-dependent GCH1 transcription is described that involves a unique combination of DNA regulatory sequences and transcription factors. This model proposes that low levels of GCH1 transcription within NSDA neurons are driven by their distinctive physiology, suggesting that pharmacological manipulation of GCH1 gene transcription can be used to modify BH4 levels and therefore DA synthesis in the basal ganglia.

  2. Mechanisms involved in systemic nicotine-induced glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Ming; Jin, Yu; Yang, Kechun; Zhang, Die; Lukas, Ronald J.; Wu, Jie

    2010-01-01

    Systemic exposure to nicotine induces glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), but mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we report that single, systemic exposure in rats to nicotine (0.17 mg/kg free base) increases the ratio of DA neuronal currents mediated by AMPA relative to NMDA receptors (AMPA/NMDA ratio) assessed 24 hr later, based on slice patch recording. The AMPA/NMDA ratio increase is evident within 1 hr and lasts for at least 72 hr after nicotine exposure (and up to 8 days after repeated nicotine administration). This effect cannot be prevented by systemic injection of either α7-nAChR-selective (methyllycaconitine, MLA) or β2*-nAChR-selective (mecamylamine, MEC) antagonists but is prevented by co-injection of MLA and MEC. In either nAChR α7 or β2 subunit knock-out mice, systemic exposure to nicotine still increases the AMPA/NMDA ratio. Pre-injection in rats of a NMDA receptor antagonist (MK801), but neither DA receptor antagonists (SCH23390 plus haloperidol) nor a calcineurin inhibitor (cyclosporine), prevents the nicotine-induced increase in AMPA/NMDA ratio. After systemic exposure to nicotine, glutamatergic (but not GABAergic) transmission onto rat VTA DA neuronal inputs is enhanced. Correspondingly, DA neuronal firing measured 24 hr after nicotine exposure using extracellular single unit recording in vivo is significantly faster, and there is conversion of silent to active DA neurons. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that systemic nicotine acting via either α7- or β2*-nAChRs increases pre- and post-synaptic glutamatergic function, and consequently initiates glutamatergic synaptic plasticity, which may be an important, early neuronal adaptation in nicotine reward and reinforcement. PMID:20943922

  3. Not all boronic acids with a five-membered cycle induce tremor, neuronal damage and decreased dopamine.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Rodríguez, Maribel; García-Mendoza, Esperanza; Farfán-García, Eunice D; Das, Bhaskar C; Ciprés-Flores, Fabiola J; Trujillo-Ferrara, José G; Tamay-Cach, Feliciano; Soriano-Ursúa, Marvin A

    2017-06-06

    Several striatal toxins can be used to induce motor disruption. One example is MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine), whose toxicity is accepted as a murine model of parkinsonism. Recently, 3-Thienylboronic acid (3TB) was found to produce motor disruption and biased neuronal damage to basal ganglia in mice. The aim of this study was to examine the toxic effects of four boronic acids with a close structural relationship to 3TB (all having a five-membered cycle), as well as boric acid and 3TB. These boron-containing compounds were compared to MPTP regarding brain access, morphological disruption of the CNS, and behavioral manifestations of such disruption. Data was collected through acute toxicity evaluations, motor behavior tests, necropsies, determination of neuronal survival by immunohistochemistry, Raman spectroscopic analysis of brain tissue, and HPLC measurement of dopamine in substantia nigra and striatum tissue. Each compound showed a distinct profile for motor disruption. For example, motor activity was not disrupted by boric acid, but was decreased by two boronic acids (caused by a sedative effect). 3TB, 2-Thienyl and 2-furanyl boronic acid gave rise to shaking behavior. The various manifestations generated by these compounds can be linked, in part, to different levels of dopamine (measured by HPLC) and degrees of neuronal damage in the basal ganglia and cerebellum. Clearly, motor disruption is not induced by all boronic acids with a five-membered cycle as substituent. Possible explanations are given for the diverse chemico-morphological changes and degrees of disruption of the motor system, considering the role of boron and the structure-toxicity relationship. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. 133 The Development of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Dopamine Neurons for Clinical Use in Parkinson Disease.

    PubMed

    Tabar, Viviane S

    2016-08-01

    Parkinson disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, affecting a million people in the United States alone. The advent of deep brain stimulation (DBS) has made a significant impact on the quality of life of a subset of patients. However, reconstruction of basal ganglia circuitry remains an ultimate goal that stands a better chance of addressing various aspects of the disease in a permanent and sustained manner. Our team has developed robust protocols for the derivation of dopamine (DA) neurons from human embryonic stem cells (ES). We subsequently formed a consortium, supported by a 15 million dollar grant from New York State that aims at translating these findings into a clinical trial of cell therapy for PD. Key milestones will be described including the development of a large cell bank, validation assays, safety testing, and finally validation and efficacy in vivo in an animal model of Parkinson disease. Our data show that human ES-derived DA neurons survive grafting both in rodents and in primates; they extend complex neurites that innervate the striatum and result in the reversal of behavioral deficits in parkinsonian rats. There were no teratomas or overgrowth of neural progenitors. Key challenges in translating the work included the translation of our cell differentiation protocol to large-scale production, using only good manufacturing practice-compliant sources, the identification and validation of a cryopreservation medium that maintained high viability, and the development of release criteria for future cell lots. An overarching concern is the development of safety measures, such as suicide genes which, however, proved too onerous to survive a reasonable timeline. Ongoing work is focused on achieving Food and Drug Administration approval, anticipated in late 2017, and implementing a first in human clinical trial of ES-derived dopamine neurons for PD.

  5. A cytoarchitectonic and chemoarchitectonic analysis of the dopamine cell groups in the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, and retrorubral field in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yuhong; Yuan, Yuan; Halliday, Glenda; Rusznák, Zoltán; Watson, Charles; Paxinos, George

    2012-04-01

    The three main dopamine cell groups of the brain are located in the substantia nigra (A9), ventral tegmental area (A10), and retrorubral field (A8). Several subdivisions of these cell groups have been identified in rats and humans but have not been well described in mice, despite the increasing use of mice in neurodegenerative models designed to selectively damage A9 dopamine neurons. The aim of this study was to determine whether typical subdivisions of these dopamine cell groups are present in mice. The dopamine neuron groups were analysed in 15 adult C57BL/6J mice by anatomically localising tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine transporter protein (DAT), calbindin, and the G-protein-activated inward rectifier potassium channel 2 (GIRK2) proteins. Measurements of the labeling intensity, neuronal morphology, and the proportion of neurons double-labeled with TH, DAT, calbindin, or GIRK2 were used to differentiate subregions. Coronal maps were prepared and reconstructed in 3D. The A8 cell group had the largest dopamine neurons. Five subregions of A9 were identified: the reticular part with few dopamine neurons, the larger dorsal and smaller ventral dopamine tiers, and the medial and lateral parts of A9. The latter has groups containing some calbindin-immunoreactive dopamine neurons. The greatest diversity of dopamine cell types was identified in the seven subregions of A10. The main dopamine cell groups in the mouse brain are similar in terms of diversity to those observed in rats and humans. These findings are relevant to models using mice to analyse the selective vulnerability of different types of dopamine neurons.

  6. Repeated exposure of the posterior ventral tegmental area to nicotine increases the sensitivity of local dopamine neurons to the stimulating effects of ethanol.

    PubMed

    Ding, Zheng-Ming; Katner, Simon N; Rodd, Zachary A; Truitt, William; Hauser, Sheketha R; Deehan, Gerald A; Engleman, Eric A; McBride, William J

    2012-05-01

    Clinical evidence indicates a frequent co-morbidity of nicotine and alcohol abuse and dependence. The posterior ventral tegmental area (pVTA) appears to support the reinforcing and dopamine-stimulating effects of both drugs. The current study tested the hypothesis that repeated exposure of the pVTA to one drug would increase the sensitivity of local dopamine neurons to the stimulating effects of the other drug. Female Wistar rats received repeated daily microinjections of either 100 μM nicotine or vehicle directly into the pVTA for 7 days. On the 8th day, rats received microinjections of either vehicle or ethanol (100 or 200 mg%) into the pVTA while extracellular dopamine samples were collected from the ipsilateral nucleus accumbens shell (NACsh) with microdialysis. Another experiment tested the effects of challenge microinjections of 200 μM nicotine in the pVTA on extracellular dopamine levels in the NACsh following 7 daily pretreatments with 200 mg% ethanol in the pVTA. Nicotine pretreatments increased the dopamine-stimulating effects of ethanol in the pVTA (100 mg% ethanol: 115% vs 160% of baseline in the vehicle and nicotine groups, respectively, p < 0.05; 200 mg% ethanol: 145% vs 190% of baseline in the vehicle and nicotine groups, respectively, p < 0.05). In contrast, ethanol pretreatments did not alter the stimulating effects of nicotine in the pVTA. The results suggest that repeated exposure of the pVTA to nicotine increased the response of local dopamine neurons to the stimulating effects of ethanol, whereas repeated exposure of the pVTA to ethanol did not alter the responses of pVTA dopamine neurons to nicotine.

  7. Functional recovery of locus coeruleus noradrenergic neurons after DSP-4 lesion: effects on dopamine levels and neuroleptic induced-parkinsonian symptoms in rats.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, J; Schmidt, W J

    2004-01-01

    Noradrenaline has been shown to control dopamine turnover and release in rat brain. Noradrenergic lesion with N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine (DSP-4) decreases dopamine release in the striatum and enhances catalepsy in experimental models of Parkinson's disease. However, in due course, sprouting of remaining noradrenergic axons, to compensate for the decreased noradrenaline is said to occur in specific brain regions. Though this is to some extent understood, the longstanding effects of noradrenergic lesion on dopaminergic neurons of the basal ganglia and in Parkinsonian behavior is not known. Here the question is addressed, whether locus coeruleus lesion with DSP-4 in rats alters dopamine concentration of the basal ganglia and influences Parkinsonian behavior in a long term (6 months). Parkinsonian behavior was assessed by catalepsy and activity cage after challenging with subthreshold dose of haloperidol (0.2 mg/kg), on 7, 30, 90, 120 and 180 days after DSP-4 lesion. The concentrations of noradrenaline and dopamine and its metabolites were estimated by HPLC. 6 months after DSP-4 lesion, increased concentration of noradrenaline was found in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Other regions remain unaffected. The concentration of dopamine remained unchanged. However, dopamine turnover appeared to be increased in prefrontal cortex and reduced in striatum and nucleus accumbens. Catalepsy and hypoactivity were observed in DSP-4 lesioned animals after haloperidol challenge on 7th, 30th and 60th day. Though dopamine turnover was reduced after 6 months in the striatum, haloperidol-induced catalepsy was not observed after 60 days. These results indicate a gradual functional recovery, perhaps hyperinnervation of noradrenergic neurons after DSP-4 treatment and the reversal of its effects on dopaminergic neurons and on Parkinsonian symptoms.

  8. Modulation of A10 dopamine neurons by gamma-aminobutyric acid agonists.

    PubMed

    Kalivas, P W; Duffy, P; Eberhardt, H

    1990-05-01

    Microinjection of the gamma-aminobutyric acidA agonist, muscimol, into the A10 region of the rat produced a dose-dependent increase in motor activity. This effect was antagonized by intra-A10 administration of the gamma-aminobutyric acidA antagonist, bicuculline, and by peripheral administration of haloperidol, and was associated with an increase in extracellular levels of dopamine metabolites in the nucleus accumbens. Although microinjection of the gamma-aminobutyric acidB agonist, baclofen, into the A10 region did not alter motor activity, it abolished the capacity of intra-A10 injection of mu opioid agonist, Tyr-D-Ala-Gly-MePhe-Gly(ol), or muscimol to increase motor activity. Baclofen also prevented the motor stimulant response to peripheral injection of cocaine or amphetamine, but was ineffective in blocking caffeine-induced behavioral activity. Pretreatment with baclofen prevented the capacity of a mu opioid agonist to elevate dopamine metabolite levels in the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex in postmortem tissue. Baclofen also prevented the elevation of extracellular dopamine content in the nucleus accumbens produced by injection of a mu opioid agonist into the A10 region, as measured in the conscious rat with in vivo dialysis. Finally, when dopamine metabolite levels were elevated in the prefrontal cortex by mild footshock, it was shown that pretreatment with baclofen in the A10 region abolished this response. These data support electrophysiological studies suggesting that activation of gamma-aminobutyric acidB receptors on dopamine perikarya inhibits dopaminergic activity, while activation of gamma-aminobutyric acidA receptors results in an indirect disinhibition of dopaminergic function.

  9. Cholesterol contributes to dopamine-neuronal loss in MPTP mouse model of Parkinson’s disease: Involvement of mitochondrial dysfunctions and oxidative stress

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Sanjeev; Giri, Anirudha; Sandhir, Rajat

    2017-01-01

    Hypercholesterolemia is a known contributor to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease while its role in the occurrence of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is only conjecture and far from conclusive. Altered antioxidant homeostasis and mitochondrial functions are the key mechanisms in loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) region of the midbrain in PD. Hypercholesterolemia is reported to cause oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunctions in the cortex and hippocampus regions of the brain in rodents. However, the impact of hypercholesterolemia on the midbrain dopaminergic neurons in animal models of PD remains elusive. We tested the hypothesis that hypercholesterolemia in MPTP model of PD would potentiate dopaminergic neuron loss in SN by disrupting mitochondrial functions and antioxidant homeostasis. It is evident from the present study that hypercholesterolemia in naïve animals caused dopamine neuronal loss in SN with subsequent reduction in striatal dopamine levels producing motor impairment. Moreover, in the MPTP model of PD, hypercholesterolemia exacerbated MPTP-induced reduction of striatal dopamine as well as dopaminergic neurons in SN with motor behavioral depreciation. Activity of mitochondrial complexes, mainly complex-I and III, was impaired severely in the nigrostriatal pathway of hypercholesterolemic animals treated with MPTP. Hypercholesterolemia caused oxidative stress in the nigrostriatal pathway with increased generation of hydroxyl radicals and enhanced activity of antioxidant enzymes, which were further aggravated in the hypercholesterolemic mice with Parkinsonism. In conclusion, our findings provide evidence of increased vulnerability of the midbrain dopaminergic neurons in PD with hypercholesterolemia. PMID:28170429

  10. Repeated Cocaine Exposure Decreases Dopamine D2-Like Receptor Modulation of Ca2+ Homeostasis in Rat Nucleus Accumbens Neurons

    PubMed Central

    PEREZ, MARIELA F.; FORD, KERSTIN A.; GOUSSAKOV, IVAN; STUTZMANN, GRACE E.; HU, XIU-TI

    2013-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a limbic structure in the forebrain that plays a critical role in cognitive function and addiction. Dopamine modulates activity of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the NAc. Both dopamine D1-like and D2-like receptors (including D1R or D1,5R and D2R or D2,3,4R, respectively) are thought to play critical roles in cocaine addiction. Our previous studies demonstrated that repeated cocaine exposure (which alters dopamine transmission) decreases excitability of NAc MSNs in cocaine-sensitized, withdrawn rats. This decrease is characterized by a reduction in voltage-sensitive Na+ currents and high voltage-activated Ca2+ currents, along with increased voltage-gated K+ currents. These changes are associated with enhanced activity in the D1R/cAMP/PKA/protein phosphatase 1 pathway and diminished calcineurin function. Although D1R-mediated signaling is enhanced by repeated cocaine exposure, little is known whether and how the D2R is implicated in the cocaine-induced NAc dysfunction. Here, we performed a combined electrophysiological, biochemical, and neuroimaging study that reveals the cocaine-induced dysregulation of Ca2+ homeostasis with involvement of D2R. Our novel findings reveal that D2R stimulation reduced Ca2+ influx preferentially via the L-type Ca2+ channels and evoked intracellular Ca2+ release, likely via inhibiting the cAMP/PKA cascade, in the NAc MSNs of drug-free rats. However, repeated cocaine exposure abolished the D2R effects on modulating Ca2+ homeostasis with enhanced PKA activity and led to a decrease in whole-cell Ca2+ influx. These adaptations, which persisted for 21 days during cocaine abstinence, may contribute to the mechanism of cocaine withdrawal. PMID:20665696

  11. A53T Human α-Synuclein Overexpression in Transgenic Mice Induces Pervasive Mitochondria Macroautophagy Defects Preceding Dopamine Neuron Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Zhiguo; Turkson, Susie

    2015-01-01

    In vitro evidence suggests that the inefficient removal of damaged mitochondria by macroautophagy contributes to Parkinson's disease (PD). Using a tissue-specific gene amplification strategy, we generated a transgenic mouse line with human α-synuclein A53T overexpression specifically in dopamine (DA) neurons. Transgenic mice showed profound early-onset mitochondria abnormalities, characterized by macroautophagy marker-positive cytoplasmic inclusions containing mainly mitochondrial remnants, which preceded the degeneration of DA neurons. Genetic deletion of either parkin or PINK1 in these transgenic mice significantly worsened mitochondrial pathologies, including drastically enlarged inclusions and loss of total mitochondria contents. These data suggest that mitochondria are the main targets of α-synuclein and their defective autophagic clearance plays a significant role during pathogenesis. Moreover, endogenous PINK1 or parkin is indispensable for the proper autophagic removal of damaged mitochondria. Our data for the first time establish an essential link between mitochondria macroautophagy impairments and DA neuron degeneration in an in vivo model based on known PD genetics. The model, its well-defined pathologies, and the demonstration of a main pathogenesis pathway in the present study have set the stage and direction of emphasis for future studies. PMID:25609609

  12. Capsaicin prevents degeneration of dopamine neurons by inhibiting glial activation and oxidative stress in the MPTP model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Chung, Young C; Baek, Jeong Y; Kim, Sang R; Ko, Hyuk W; Bok, Eugene; Shin, Won-Ho; Won, So-Yoon; Jin, Byung K

    2017-03-03

    The effects of capsaicin (CAP), a transient receptor potential vanilloid subtype 1 (TRPV1) agonist, were determined on nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) neurons in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of Parkinson's disease (PD). The results showed that TRPV1 activation by CAP rescued nigrostriatal DA neurons, enhanced striatal DA functions and improved behavioral recovery in MPTP-treated mice. CAP neuroprotection was associated with reduced expression of proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β) and reactive oxygen species/reactive nitrogen species from activated microglia-derived NADPH oxidase, inducible nitric oxide synthase or reactive astrocyte-derived myeloidperoxidase. These beneficial effects of CAP were reversed by treatment with the TRPV1 antagonists capsazepine and iodo-resiniferatoxin, indicating TRPV1 involvement. This study demonstrates that TRPV1 activation by CAP protects nigrostriatal DA neurons via inhibition of glial activation-mediated oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in the MPTP mouse model of PD. These results suggest that CAP and its analogs may be beneficial therapeutic agents for the treatment of PD and other neurodegenerative disorders that are associated with neuroinflammation and glial activation-derived oxidative damage.

  13. Capsaicin prevents degeneration of dopamine neurons by inhibiting glial activation and oxidative stress in the MPTP model of Parkinson's disease

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Young C; Baek, Jeong Y; Kim, Sang R; Ko, Hyuk W; Bok, Eugene; Shin, Won-Ho; Won, So-Yoon; Jin, Byung K

    2017-01-01

    The effects of capsaicin (CAP), a transient receptor potential vanilloid subtype 1 (TRPV1) agonist, were determined on nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) neurons in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of Parkinson's disease (PD). The results showed that TRPV1 activation by CAP rescued nigrostriatal DA neurons, enhanced striatal DA functions and improved behavioral recovery in MPTP-treated mice. CAP neuroprotection was associated with reduced expression of proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β) and reactive oxygen species/reactive nitrogen species from activated microglia-derived NADPH oxidase, inducible nitric oxide synthase or reactive astrocyte-derived myeloidperoxidase. These beneficial effects of CAP were reversed by treatment with the TRPV1 antagonists capsazepine and iodo-resiniferatoxin, indicating TRPV1 involvement. This study demonstrates that TRPV1 activation by CAP protects nigrostriatal DA neurons via inhibition of glial activation-mediated oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in the MPTP mouse model of PD. These results suggest that CAP and its analogs may be beneficial therapeutic agents for the treatment of PD and other neurodegenerative disorders that are associated with neuroinflammation and glial activation-derived oxidative damage. PMID:28255166

  14. Intermittent nicotine exposure upregulates nAChRs in VTA dopamine neurons and sensitizes locomotor responding to the drug

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Lorinda K; Mao, Danyan; Chi, Henry; Govind, Anitha P; Vallejo, Yolanda F; Iacoviello, Michael; Herrera, Stacy; Cortright, James J; Green, William N; McGehee, Daniel S; Vezina, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Dopaminergic projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) mediate the behavioral and motivational effects of many drugs of abuse, including nicotine. Repeated intermittent administration of these drugs, a pattern often associated with initial drug exposure, sensitizes the reactivity of dopamine (DA) neurons in this pathway, enhances the locomotor behaviors the drugs emit, and promotes their pursuit and self-administration. Here we show that activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the VTA, but not the NAcc, is essential for the induction of locomotor sensitization by nicotine. Repeated intermittent nicotine exposure (4 × 0.4 mg/kg, base, i.p., administered over 7 days), a regimen leading to long-lasting locomotor sensitization, also produced upregulation of nAChRs in the VTA, but not the NAcc, in the hours following the last exposure injection. Functional nAChR upregulation was observed selectively in DA but not GABA neurons in the VTA. These effects were followed by long-term potentiation of excitatory inputs to these cells and increased nicotine-evoked DA overflow in the NAcc. Withdrawal symptoms were not observed following this exposure regimen. Thus, intermittent activation and upregulation by nicotine of nAChRs in DA neurons in the VTA may contribute to the development of behavioral sensitization and increased liability for nicotine addiction. PMID:23331514

  15. Morphofunctional alterations in ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons in acute and prolonged opiates withdrawal. A computational perspective.

    PubMed

    Enrico, P; Migliore, M; Spiga, S; Mulas, G; Caboni, F; Diana, M

    2016-05-13

    Dopamine (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) play a key role in the neurobiological basis of goal-directed behaviors and addiction. Morphine (MOR) withdrawal induces acute and long-term changes in the morphology and physiology of VTA DA cells, but the mechanisms underlying these modifications are poorly understood. Because of their predictive value, computational models are a powerful tool in neurobiological research, and are often used to gain further insights and deeper understanding on the molecular and physiological mechanisms underlying the development of various psychiatric disorders. Here we present a biophysical model of a DA VTA neuron based on 3D morphological reconstruction and electrophysiological data, showing how opiates withdrawal-driven morphological and electrophysiological changes could affect the firing rate and discharge pattern. The model findings suggest how and to what extent a change in the balance of GABA/GLU inputs can take into account the experimentally observed hypofunction of VTA DA neurons during acute and prolonged withdrawal, whereas morphological changes may play a role in the increased excitability of VTA DA cell to opiate administration observed during opiate withdrawal.

  16. Self-administration of ethanol, cocaine, or nicotine does not decrease the soma size of ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Mazei-Robison, Michelle S; Appasani, Raghu; Edwards, Scott; Wee, Sunmee; Taylor, Seth R; Picciotto, Marina R; Koob, George F; Nestler, Eric J

    2014-01-01

    Our previous observations show that chronic opiate administration, including self-administration, decrease the soma size of dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of rodents and humans, a morphological change correlated with increased firing rate and reward tolerance. Given that a general hallmark of drugs of abuse is to increase activity of the mesolimbic DA circuit, we sought to determine whether additional drug classes produced a similar morphological change. Sections containing VTA were obtained from rats that self-administered cocaine or ethanol and from mice that consumed nicotine. In contrast to opiates, we found no change in VTA DA soma size induced by any of these other drugs. These data suggest that VTA morphological changes are induced in a drug-specific manner and reinforce recent findings that some changes in mesolimbic signaling and neuroplasticity are drug-class dependent.

  17. Human cord blood-derived multipotent stem cells (CB-SCs) treated with all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) give rise to dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaohong; Li, Heng; Bi, Jianfen; Chen, Yana; Jain, Sumit; Zhao, Yong

    2012-03-02

    Parkinson's disease (PD) results from the chronic degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. A replacement for these neurons has the potential to provide a clinical cure and/or lasting treatment for symptoms of the disease. Human cord blood-derived multipotent stem cells (CB-SCs) display embryonic stem cell characteristics, including multi-potential differentiation. To explore their therapeutic potential in PD, we examined whether CB-SCs could be induced to differentiate into dopamine neurons in the presence of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA). Prior to treatment, CB-SCs expressed mRNA and protein for the key dopaminergic transcription factors Nurr1, Wnt1, and En1. Following treatment with 10 μM ATRA for 12 days, CB-SCs displayed elongated neuronal-like morphologies. Immunocytochemistry revealed that 48 ± 11% of ATRA-treated cells were positive for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), and 36 ± 9% of cells were positive for dopamine transporter (DAT). In contrast, control CB-SCs (culture medium only) expressed only background levels of TH and DAT. Finally, ATRA-treated CB-SCs challenged with potassium released increased levels of dopamine compared to control. These data demonstrate that ATRA induces differentiation of CB-SCs into dopaminergic neurons. This finding may lead to the development of an alternative approach to stem cell therapy for Parkinson's disease.

  18. Successful function of autologous iPSC-derived dopamine neurons following transplantation in a non-human primate model of Parkinson's disease

    PubMed Central

    Hallett, Penelope J; Deleidi, Michela; Astradsson, Arnar; Smith, Gaynor A.; Cooper, Oliver; Osborn, Teresia; Sundberg, Maria; Moore, Michele A.; Perez-Torres, Eduardo; Brownell, Anna-Liisa; Schumacher, James; Spealman, Roger D.; Isacson, Ole

    2015-01-01

    Summary Autologous transplantation of patient-specific iPSC-derived neurons is a potential clinical approach for treatment of neurological disease. Preclinical demonstration of long-term efficacy, feasibility and safety of iPSC-derived dopamine neurons in non human primate models will be an important step in clinical development of cell therapy. Here, we analyzed cynomolgus monkey (CM) iPSC-derived midbrain dopamine neurons for up to 2 years following autologous transplantation in a Parkinson's disease (PD) model. In one animal, with the most successful protocol, we found that unilateral engraftment of CM-iPSCs could provide a gradual onset of functional motor improvement contralateral to the side of dopamine neuron transplantation, and increased motor activity, without a need for immunosuppression. Post-mortem analyses demonstrated robust survival of midbrain-like dopaminergic neurons and extensive outgrowth into the transplanted putamen. Our proof of concept findings support further development of autologous iPSC-derived cell transplantation for treatment of PD. PMID:25732245

  19. Prenatal Ethanol Exposure Persistently Alters Endocannabinoid Signaling and Endocannabinoid-Mediated Excitatory Synaptic Plasticity in Ventral Tegmental Area Dopamine Neurons.

    PubMed

    Hausknecht, Kathryn; Shen, Ying-Ling; Wang, Rui-Xiang; Haj-Dahmane, Samir; Shen, Roh-Yu

    2017-06-14

    Prenatal ethanol exposure (PE) leads to increased addiction risk which could be mediated by enhanced excitatory synaptic strength in ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons. Previous studies have shown that PE enhances excitatory synaptic strength by facilitating an anti-Hebbian form of long-term potentiation (LTP). In this study, we investigated the effect of PE on endocannabinoid-mediated long-term depression (eCB-LTD) in VTA DA neurons. Rats were exposed to moderate (3 g/kg/d) or high (6 g/kg/d) levels of ethanol during gestation. Whole-cell recordings were conducted in male offspring between 4 and 10 weeks old.We found that PE led to increased amphetamine self-administration. Both moderate and high levels of PE persistently reduced low-frequency stimulation-induced eCB-LTD. Furthermore, action potential-independent glutamate release was regulated by tonic eCB signaling in PE animals. Mechanistic studies for impaired eCB-LTD revealed that PE downregulated CB1 receptor function. Interestingly, eCB-LTD in PE animals was rescued by metabotropic glutamate receptor I activation, suggesting that PE did not impair the synthesis/release of eCBs. In contrast, eCB-LTD in PE animals was not rescued by increasing presynaptic activity, which actually led to LTP in PE animals, whereas LTD was still observed in controls. This result shows that the regulation of excitatory synaptic plasticity is fundamentally altered in PE animals. Together, PE leads to impaired eCB-LTD at the excitatory synapses of VTA DA neurons primarily due to CB1 receptor downregulation. This effect could contribute to enhanced LTP and the maintenance of augmented excitatory synaptic strength in VTA DA neurons and increased addiction risk after PE.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Prenatal ethanol exposure (PE) is among many adverse developmental factors known to increase drug addiction risk. Increased excitatory synaptic strength in VTA DA neurons is a critical cellular mechanism for addiction risk. Our

  20. MAPT Genetic Variation and Neuronal Maturity Alter Isoform Expression Affecting Axonal Transport in iPSC-Derived Dopamine Neurons.

    PubMed

    Beevers, Joel E; Lai, Mang Ching; Collins, Emma; Booth, Heather D E; Zambon, Federico; Parkkinen, Laura; Vowles, Jane; Cowley, Sally A; Wade-Martins, Richard; Caffrey, Tara M

    2017-08-08

    The H1 haplotype of the microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) locus is genetically associated with neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD), and affects gene expression and splicing. However, the functional impact on neurons of such expression differences has yet to be fully elucidated. Here, we employ extended maturation phases during differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) into mature dopaminergic neuronal cultures to obtain cultures expressing all six adult tau protein isoforms. After 6 months of maturation, levels of exon 3+ and exon 10+ transcripts approach those of adult brain. Mature dopaminergic neuronal cultures display haplotype differences in expression, with H1 expressing 22% higher levels of MAPT transcripts than H2 and H2 expressing 2-fold greater exon 3+ transcripts than H1. Furthermore, knocking down adult tau protein variants alters axonal transport velocities in mature iPSC-derived dopaminergic neuronal cultures. This work links haplotype-specific MAPT expression with a biologically functional outcome relevant for PD. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Effects of dopamine, SKF-38393 and R(-)-NPA on ATP-activated currents in rat DRG neurons.

    PubMed

    Li, Guo-Hua; Guan, Bing-Cai; Li, Zhi-Wang

    2005-03-01

    This study aimed to investigate the effect of the activation of dopamine (DA) receptors on ATP-activated currents (IATP) in freshly isolated dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons of rats using whole-cell patch clamp technique in combination with intracellular dialysis. Extracellular application of DA inhibited IATP in half of the neurons tested (39/77, 50.6%), enhanced IATP in a small subset of the neurons (22/77, 28.6%), and had no effect on IATP in the rest (16/77, 20.8%). To investigate the DA receptor subtypes that mediate these modulations, the effects of R(-)-NPA, a D2 receptor agonist, and SKF-38393, a D1 receptor agonist, were examined. Preapplication of R(-)-NPA inhibited IATP in most of the cells tested (53/57, 93.0%) and had no effect in the rest (4/57, 7.0%); no potentiating effect was observed. Preapplication of SKF-38393 inhibited IATP in a majority of the cells tested (57/77, 74.0%), potentiated IATP in some cells (12/77, 15.6%), and had no effect in the remainder (8/77, 10.4%). Further study of the inhibitory effect of R(-)-NPA and SKF-38393 revealed that both of them acted in a noncompetitive manner, shifting the concentration-response curve for IATP downwards with the maximal response markedly reduced and EC50 basically unchanged; and the inhibition was independent of the holding potential. Intracellular dialysis of GDP-beta-S and H-7 abolished R(-)-NPA inhibition of IATP completely, and SKF-38393 inhibition of IATP was removed by intracellular application of H-7 but not by H-9. These results suggest that the activation of DA receptors dominantly inhibits IATP in dorsal root ganglion cells, and this inhibition may be involved in the modulation of afferent information by the diencephalon-derived DA in the primary sensory neurons.

  2. Inhibitory modulation of CART peptides in accumbal neuron through decreasing interaction of CaMKIIα with dopamine D3 receptors.

    PubMed

    Cai, Zhenyu; Zhang, Dalei; Ying, Ying; Yan, Min; Yang, Jianhua; Xu, Fangyun; Oh, Kiwan; Hu, Zhenzhen

    2014-04-04

    Previous studies in rats have shown that microinjections of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) peptide into the nucleus accumbens (NAc; the area of the brain that mediates drug reward and reinforcement) attenuate the locomotor effects of psychostimulants. CART peptide has also been shown to induce decreased intracellular concentrations of calcium (Ca(2+)) in primary cultures of hippocampus neurons. The purpose of this study was to characterize the interaction of Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent kinases (CaMKIIα) with dopamine D3 (D3) receptors (R) in primary cultures of accumbal neurons. This interaction is involved in inhibitory modulation of CART peptides. In vitro, CART (55-102) peptide (0.1, 0.5 or 1μM) was found to dose-dependently inhibit K(+) depolarization-elicited Ca(2+) influx and CaMKIIα phosphorylation in accumbal neurons. Moreover, CART peptides were also found to block cocaine (1μM)-induced Ca(2+) influx, CaMKIIα phosphorylation, CaMKIIα-D3R interaction, and CREB phosphorylation. In vivo, repeated microinjections of CART (55-102) peptide (2μg/1μl/side) into the NAc over a 5-day period had no effect on behavioral activity but blocked cocaine-induced locomotor activity. These results indicate that D3R function in accumbal neurons is a target of CART (55-102) peptide and suggest that CART peptide by dephosphorylating limbic D3Rs may have potential as a treatment for cocaine abuse. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Neurotensin-polyplex-mediated brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene delivery into nigral dopamine neurons prevents nigrostriatal degeneration in a rat model of early Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Hernandez-Chan, Nancy G; Bannon, Michael J; Orozco-Barrios, Carlos E; Escobedo, Lourdes; Zamudio, Sergio; De la Cruz, Fidel; Gongora-Alfaro, Jose L; Armendáriz-Borunda, Juan; Reyes-Corona, David; Espadas-Alvarez, Armando J; Flores-Martínez, Yazmin M; Ayala-Davila, Jose; Hernandez-Gutierrez, Maria E; Pavón, Lenin; García-Villegas, Refugio; Nadella, Rasajna; Martinez-Fong, Daniel

    2015-07-22

    The neurotrophin Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) influences nigral dopaminergic neurons via autocrine and paracrine mechanisms. The reduction of BDNF expression in Parkinson's disease substantia nigra (SN) might contribute to the death of dopaminergic neurons because inhibiting BDNF expression in the SN causes parkinsonism in the rat. This study aimed to demonstrate that increasing BDNF expression in dopaminergic neurons of rats with one week of 6-hydroxydopamine lesion recovers from parkinsonism. The plasmids phDAT-BDNF-flag and phDAT-EGFP, coding for enhanced green fluorescent protein, were transfected using neurotensin (NTS)-polyplex, which enables delivery of genes into the dopaminergic neurons via neurotensin-receptor type 1 (NTSR1) internalization. Two weeks after transfections, RT-PCR and immunofluorescence techniques showed that the residual dopaminergic neurons retain NTSR1 expression and susceptibility to be transfected by the NTS-polyplex. phDAT-BDNF-flag transfection did not increase dopaminergic neurons, but caused 7-fold increase in dopamine fibers within the SN and 5-fold increase in innervation and dopamine levels in the striatum. These neurotrophic effects were accompanied by a significant improvement in motor behavior. NTS-polyplex-mediated BDNF overexpression in dopaminergic neurons has proven to be effective to remit hemiparkinsonism in the rat. This BDNF gene therapy might be helpful in the early stage of Parkinson's disease.

  4. Dopamine neuronal loss contributes to memory and reward dysfunction in a model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Nobili, Annalisa; Latagliata, Emanuele Claudio; Viscomi, Maria Teresa; Cavallucci, Virve; Cutuli, Debora; Giacovazzo, Giacomo; Krashia, Paraskevi; Rizzo, Francesca Romana; Marino, Ramona; Federici, Mauro; De Bartolo, Paola; Aversa, Daniela; Dell'Acqua, Maria Concetta; Cordella, Alberto; Sancandi, Marco; Keller, Flavio; Petrosini, Laura; Puglisi-Allegra, Stefano; Mercuri, Nicola Biagio; Coccurello, Roberto; Berretta, Nicola; D'Amelio, Marcello

    2017-04-03

    Alterations of the dopaminergic (DAergic) system are frequently reported in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and are commonly linked to cognitive and non-cognitive symptoms. However, the cause of DAergic system dysfunction in AD remains to be elucidated. We investigated alterations of the midbrain DAergic system in the Tg2576 mouse model of AD, overexpressing a mutated human amyloid precursor protein (APPswe). Here, we found an age-dependent DAergic neuron loss in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) at pre-plaque stages, although substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) DAergic neurons were intact. The selective VTA DAergic neuron degeneration results in lower DA outflow in the hippocampus and nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell. The progression of DAergic cell death correlates with impairments in CA1 synaptic plasticity, memory performance and food reward processing. We conclude that in this mouse model of AD, degeneration of VTA DAergic neurons at pre-plaque stages contributes to memory deficits and dysfunction of reward processing.

  5. Dopamine neuronal loss contributes to memory and reward dysfunction in a model of Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    Nobili, Annalisa; Latagliata, Emanuele Claudio; Viscomi, Maria Teresa; Cavallucci, Virve; Cutuli, Debora; Giacovazzo, Giacomo; Krashia, Paraskevi; Rizzo, Francesca Romana; Marino, Ramona; Federici, Mauro; De Bartolo, Paola; Aversa, Daniela; Dell'Acqua, Maria Concetta; Cordella, Alberto; Sancandi, Marco; Keller, Flavio; Petrosini, Laura; Puglisi-Allegra, Stefano; Mercuri, Nicola Biagio; Coccurello, Roberto; Berretta, Nicola; D'Amelio, Marcello

    2017-01-01

    Alterations of the dopaminergic (DAergic) system are frequently reported in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and are commonly linked to cognitive and non-cognitive symptoms. However, the cause of DAergic system dysfunction in AD remains to be elucidated. We investigated alterations of the midbrain DAergic system in the Tg2576 mouse model of AD, overexpressing a mutated human amyloid precursor protein (APPswe). Here, we found an age-dependent DAergic neuron loss in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) at pre-plaque stages, although substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) DAergic neurons were intact. The selective VTA DAergic neuron degeneration results in lower DA outflow in the hippocampus and nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell. The progression of DAergic cell death correlates with impairments in CA1 synaptic plasticity, memory performance and food reward processing. We conclude that in this mouse model of AD, degeneration of VTA DAergic neurons at pre-plaque stages contributes to memory deficits and dysfunction of reward processing. PMID:28367951

  6. Signaling Pathways that Mediate Neurotoxin-Induced Death of Dopamine Neurons

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-11-01

    these factors had little effect , but N-acetylcysteine protected suggesting that oxidative stress kills the neurons by a non-apoptotic mechanism...the Bcl-2/Bcl-x(L) inhibitor induces CGN apoptosis via an oxidative stress -dependent mechan- ism. Differential effects of antioxidants on CGN...promotes autophagy and death of Purkinje neurons in the absence of trophic stimuli In contrast to its effects on basal survival, the p75ntr antisense

  7. The First Alcohol Drink Triggers mTORC1-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity in Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine D1 Receptor Neurons.

    PubMed

    Beckley, Jacob T; Laguesse, Sophie; Phamluong, Khanhky; Morisot, Nadege; Wegner, Scott A; Ron, Dorit

    2016-01-20

    Early binge-like alcohol drinking may promote the development of hazardous intake.