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Sample records for midbrain dopaminergic neurons

  1. Pharmacogenetic activation of midbrain dopaminergic neurons induces hyperactivity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shujie; Tan, Yan; Zhang, Ju-En; Luo, Minmin

    2013-10-01

    Dopaminergic neurons regulate and organize numerous important behavioral processes including motor activity. Consistently, manipulation of brain dopamine concentrations changes animal activity levels. Dopamine is synthesized by several neuronal populations in the brain. This study was carried out to directly test whether selective activation of dopamine neurons in the midbrain induces hyperactivity. A pharmacogenetic approach was used to activate midbrain dopamine neurons, and behavioral assays were conducted to determine the effects on mouse activity levels. Transgenic expression of the evolved hM3Dq receptor was achieved by infusing Cre-inducible AAV viral vectors into the midbrain of DAT-Cre mice. Neurons were excited by injecting the hM3Dq ligand clozapine-N-oxide (CNO). Mouse locomotor activity was measured in an open field. The results showed that CNO selectively activated midbrain dopaminergic neurons and induced hyperactivity in a dose-dependent manner, supporting the idea that these neurons play an important role in regulating motor activity.

  2. 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.

  3. Dopaminergic neurons modulate GABA neuron migration in the embryonic midbrain.

    PubMed

    Vasudevan, Anju; Won, Chungkil; Li, Suyan; Erdélyi, Ferenc; Szabó, Gábor; Kim, Kwang-Soo

    2012-09-01

    Neuronal migration, a key event during brain development, remains largely unexplored in the mesencephalon, where dopaminergic (DA) and GABA neurons constitute two major neuronal populations. Here we study the migrational trajectories of DA and GABA neurons and show that they occupy ventral mesencephalic territory in a temporally and spatially specific manner. Our results from the Pitx3-deficient aphakia mouse suggest that pre-existing DA neurons modulate GABA neuronal migration to their final destination, providing novel insights and fresh perspectives concerning neuronal migration and connectivity in the mesencephalon in normal as well as diseased brains.

  4. The Transcription Factor Orthodenticle Homeobox 2 Influences Axonal Projections and Vulnerability of Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chung, Chee Yeun; Licznerski, Pawel; Alavian, Kambiz N.; Simeone, Antonio; Lin, Zhicheng; Martin, Eden; Vance, Jeffery; Isacson, Ole

    2010-01-01

    Two adjacent groups of midbrain dopaminergic neurons, A9 (substantia nigra pars compacta) and A10 (ventral tegmental area), have distinct projections and exhibit differential vulnerability in Parkinson's disease. Little is known about transcription factors that influence midbrain dopaminergic subgroup phenotypes or their potential role in disease.…

  5. Social modulation during songbird courtship potentiates midbrain dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Huang, Ya-Chun; Hessler, Neal A

    2008-10-01

    Synaptic transmission onto dopaminergic neurons of the mammalian ventral tegmental area (VTA) can be potentiated by acute or chronic exposure to addictive drugs. Because rewarding behavior, such as social affiliation, can activate the same neural circuitry as addictive drugs, we tested whether the intense social interaction of songbird courtship may also potentiate VTA synaptic function. We recorded glutamatergic synaptic currents from VTA of male zebra finches who had experienced distinct social and behavioral conditions during the previous hour. The level of synaptic transmission to VTA neurons, as assayed by the ratio of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) to N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) glutamate receptor mediated synaptic currents, was increased after males sang to females, and also after they saw females without singing, but not after they sang while alone. Potentiation after female exposure alone did not appear to result from stress, as it was not blocked by inhibition of glucocorticoid receptors. This potentiation was restricted to synapses of dopaminergic projection neurons, and appeared to be expressed postsynaptically. This study supports a model in which VTA dopaminergic neurons are more strongly activated during singing used for courtship than during non-courtship singing, and thus can provide social context-dependent modulation to forebrain areas. More generally, these results demonstrate that an intense social encounter can trigger the same pathways of neuronal plasticity as addictive drugs.

  6. Parkinson's disease candidate gene prioritization based on expression profile of midbrain dopaminergic neurons

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. The pathological hallmark of the disease is degeneration of midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Genetic association studies have linked 13 human chromosomal loci to Parkinson's disease. Identification of gene(s), as part of the etiology of Parkinson's disease, within the large number of genes residing in these loci can be achieved through several approaches, including screening methods, and considering appropriate criteria. Since several of the indentified Parkinson's disease genes are expressed in substantia nigra pars compact of the midbrain, expression within the neurons of this area could be a suitable criterion to limit the number of candidates and identify PD genes. Methods In this work we have used the combination of findings from six rodent transcriptome analysis studies on the gene expression profile of midbrain dopaminergic neurons and the PARK loci in OMIM (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man) database, to identify new candidate genes for Parkinson's disease. Results Merging the two datasets, we identified 20 genes within PARK loci, 7 of which are located in an orphan Parkinson's disease locus and one, which had been identified as a disease gene. In addition to identifying a set of candidates for further genetic association studies, these results show that the criteria of expression in midbrain dopaminergic neurons may be used to narrow down the number of genes in PARK loci for such studies. PMID:20716345

  7. A natural compound macelignan protects midbrain dopaminergic neurons from inflammatory degeneration via microglial arginase-1 expression.

    PubMed

    Kiyofuji, Kana; Kurauchi, Yuki; Hisatsune, Akinori; Seki, Takahiro; Mishima, Satoshi; Katsuki, Hiroshi

    2015-08-05

    Inflammatory events involving activated microglia have been recognized to play an important role in pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson disease. Compounds regulating activation profiles of microglia may provide therapeutic benefits for Parkinson disease characterized by degeneration of midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Here we examined the effect of macelignan, a compound derived from nutmeg, on inflammatory degeneration of midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Treatment of midbrain slice cultures with interferon (IFN)-γ and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) caused a substantial decrease in viable dopaminergic neurons and an increase in nitric oxide (NO) production indicated by extracellular nitrite accumulation. Application of macelignan (10 μM) concomitantly with LPS prevented the loss of dopaminergic neurons. Besides nitrite accumulation, up-regulation of inducible NO synthase protein expression in response to IFN-γ/LPS was confirmed by Western blotting, and immunohistochemical examination revealed expression of inducible NO synthase in a subpopulation of Iba-1-poitive microglia. However, macelignan did not affect any of these NO-related parameters. On the other hand, macelignan promoted expression of arginase-1 in midbrain slice cultures irrespective of the presence or the absence of IFN-γ/LPS treatment. Arginase-1 expression was mainly localized in a subpopulation of Iba-1-positive cells. Importantly, the neuroprotective effect of macelignan was antagonized by N(ω)-hydroxy-nor-L-arginine, a specific arginase inhibitor. The neuroprotective effect of macelignan was also prevented by GW9662, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) antagonist. Overall, these results indicate that macelignan, a compound with PPARγ agonist activity, can provide neuroprotective effect on dopaminergic neurons in an arginase-dependent but NO-independent manner.

  8. Cocaine increases dopaminergic neuron and motor activity via midbrain α1 adrenergic signaling.

    PubMed

    Goertz, Richard Brandon; Wanat, Matthew J; Gomez, Jorge A; Brown, Zeliene J; Phillips, Paul E M; Paladini, Carlos A

    2015-03-13

    Cocaine reinforcement is mediated by increased extracellular dopamine levels in the forebrain. This neurochemical effect was thought to require inhibition of dopamine reuptake, but cocaine is still reinforcing even in the absence of the dopamine transporter. Here, we demonstrate that the rapid elevation in dopamine levels and motor activity elicited by cocaine involves α1 receptor activation within the ventral midbrain. Activation of α1 receptors increases dopaminergic neuron burst firing by decreasing the calcium-activated potassium channel current (SK), as well as elevates dopaminergic neuron pacemaker firing through modulation of both SK and the hyperpolarization-activated cation currents (Ih). Furthermore, we found that cocaine increases both the pacemaker and burst-firing frequency of rat ventral-midbrain dopaminergic neurons through an α1 adrenergic receptor-dependent mechanism within the ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra pars compacta. These results demonstrate the mechanism underlying the critical role of α1 adrenergic receptors in the regulation of dopamine neurotransmission and behavior by cocaine.

  9. Neuroprotective Effects of 7, 8-dihydroxyflavone on Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons in MPP+-treated Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    He, Jingjing; Xiang, Zheng; Zhu, Xiaoqing; Ai, Zongyong; Shen, Jingsong; Huang, Tianzhuang; Liu, Liegang; Ji, Weizhi; Li, Tianqing

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one common neurodegenerative disease caused by a significant loss of midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Previous reports showed that 7, 8- dihydroxyflavone (7, 8-DHF) as a potent TrkB agonist can mimic BDNF and play neuroprotective roles for mouse dopaminergic neurons. Nonetheless, the safety and neuroprotective effects are unclear in monkey models of PD. Here, we find that 7, 8-DHF could be absorbed and metabolized into 7-hydroxy-8-methoxyflavone through oral administration in monkeys. The half-life time of 7, 8-DHF in monkey plasma is about 4–8 hrs. Furthermore, these monkeys maintain health state throughout the course of seven-month treatments of 7, 8-DHF (30 mg/kg/day). Importantly, 7, 8-DHF treatments can prevent the progressive degeneration of midbrain dopaminergic neurons by attenuating neurotoxic effects of MPP+ and display strong neuroprotective effects in monkeys. Our study demonstrates that this promising small molecule may be transited into a clinical useful pharmacological agent. PMID:27731318

  10. Allopregnanolone enhances the neurogenesis of midbrain dopaminergic neurons in APPswe/PSEN1 mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, P; Xie, M Q; Ding, Y-Q; Liao, M; Qi, S S; Chen, S X; Gu, Q Q; Zhou, P; Sun, C Y

    2015-04-02

    An earlier study has demonstrated that exogenous allopregnanolone (APα) can reverse the reduction of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) of 3-month-old male triple transgenic Alzheimer's disease mouse (3xTgAD). This paper is focused on further clarifying the origin of these new-born TH-positive neurons induced by exogenous APα treatment. We performed a deeper research in another AD mouse model, 4-month-old male APPswe/PSEN1 double transgenic AD mouse (2xTgAD) by measuring APα concentration and counting immunopositive neurons using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and unbiased stereology. It was found that endogenous APα level and the number of TH-positive neurons were reduced in the 2xTgAD mice, and these reductions were present prior to the appearance of β-amyloid (Aβ)-positive plaques. Furthermore, a single 20mg/kg of exogenous APα treatment prevented the decline of total neurons, TH-positive neurons and TH/bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) double-positive neurons in the SNpc of 2xTgAD mice although the decreased intensity of TH-positive fibers was not rescued in the striatum. It was also noted that exogenous APα administration had an apparent increase in the doublecortin (DCX)-positive neurons and DCX/BrdU double-positive neurons of subventricular zone (SVZ), as well as in the percentage of neuronal nuclear antigen (NeuN)/BrdU double-positive neurons of the SNpc in the 2xTgAD mice. These findings indicate that a lower level of endogenous APα is implicated in the loss of midbrain dopaminergic neurons in the 2xTgAD mice, and exogenous APα-induced a significant increase in the new-born dopaminergic neurons might be derived from the proliferating and differentiation of neural stem niche of SVZ.

  11. Survival of a Novel Subset of Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons Projecting to the Lateral Septum Is Dependent on NeuroD Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Chabrat, Audrey; Spencer-Dene, Bradley

    2017-01-01

    Midbrain dopaminergic neurons are highly heterogeneous. They differ in their connectivity and firing patterns and, therefore, in their functional properties. The molecular underpinnings of this heterogeneity are largely unknown, and there is a paucity of markers that distinguish these functional subsets. In this paper, we report the identification and characterization of a novel subset of midbrain dopaminergic neurons located in the ventral tegmental area that expresses the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, Neurogenic Differentiation Factor-6 (NEUROD6). Retrograde fluorogold tracing experiments demonstrate that Neurod6+ midbrain dopaminergic neurons neurons project to two distinct septal regions: the dorsal and intermediate region of the lateral septum. Loss-of-function studies in mice demonstrate that Neurod6 and the closely related family member Neurod1 are both specifically required for the survival of this lateral-septum projecting neuronal subset during development. Our findings underscore the complex organization of midbrain dopaminergic neurons and provide an entry point for future studies of the functions of the Neurod6+ subset of midbrain dopaminergic neurons. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Midbrain dopaminergic neurons regulate diverse brain functions, including voluntary movement and cognitive and emotive behaviors. These neurons are heterogeneous, and distinct subsets are thought to regulate different behaviors. However, we currently lack the means to identify and modify gene function in specific subsets of midbrain dopaminergic neurons. In this study, we identify the transcription factor NEUROD6 as a specific marker for a novel subset of midbrain dopaminergic neurons in the ventral midbrain that project to the lateral septum, and we reveal essential roles for Neurod1 and Neurod6 in the survival of these neurons during development. Our findings highlight the molecular and anatomical heterogeneity of midbrain dopaminergic neurons and contribute to a

  12. Increased innervation of forebrain targets by midbrain dopaminergic neurons in the absence of FGF-2.

    PubMed

    Rumpel, R; Baron, O; Ratzka, A; Schröder, M-L; Hohmann, M; Effenberg, A; Claus, P; Grothe, C

    2016-02-09

    Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) regulate development and maintenance, and reduce vulnerability of neurons. FGF-2 is essential for survival of midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons and is responsible for their dysplasia and disease-related degeneration. We previously reported that FGF-2 is involved in adequate forebrain (FB) target innervation by these neurons in an organotypic co-culture model. It remains unclear, how this ex-vivo phenotype relates to the in vivo situation, and which FGF-related signaling pathway is involved in this process. Here, we demonstrate that lack of FGF-2 results in an increased volume of the striatal target area in mice. We further add evidence that the low molecular weight (LMW) FGF-2 isoform is responsible for this phenotype, as this isoform is predominantly expressed in the embryonic ventral midbrain (VM) as well as in postnatal striatum (STR) and known to act via canonical transmembrane FGF receptor (FGFR) activation. Additionally, we confirm that the phenotype with an enlarged FB-target area by DA neurons can be mimicked in an ex-vivo explant model by inhibiting the canonical FGFR signaling, which resulted in decreased extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation, while AKT activation remained unchanged.

  13. Generation of embryonic stem cells and transgenic mice expressing green fluorescence protein in midbrain dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Suling; Maxwell, Sarah; Jimenez-Beristain, Antonio; Vives, Joaquim; Kuehner, Eva; Zhao, Jiexin; O'Brien, Carmel; de Felipe, Carmen; Semina, Elena; Li, Meng

    2004-03-01

    We have generated embryonic stem (ES) cells and transgenic mice with green fluorescent protein (GFP) inserted into the Pitx3 locus via homologous recombination. In the central nervous system, Pitx3-directed GFP was visualized in dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area. Live primary DA neurons can be isolated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting from these transgenic mouse embryos. In culture, Pitx3-GFP is coexpressed in a proportion of ES-derived DA neurons. Furthermore, ES cell-derived Pitx3-GFP expressing DA neurons responded to neurotrophic factors and were sensitive to DA-specific neurotoxin N-4-methyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine. We anticipate that the Pitx3-GFP ES cells could be used as a powerful model system for functional identification of molecules governing mDA neuron differentiation and for preclinical research including pharmaceutical drug screening and transplantation. The Pitx3 knock-in mice, on the other hand, could be used for purifying primary neurons for molecular studies associated with the midbrain-specific DA phenotype at a level not previously feasible. These mice would also provide a useful tool to study DA fate determination from embryo- or adult-derived neural stem cells.

  14. Expression of early developmental markers predicts the efficiency of embryonic stem cell differentiation into midbrain dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Salti, Ahmad; Nat, Roxana; Neto, Sonya; Puschban, Zoe; Wenning, Gregor; Dechant, Georg

    2013-02-01

    Dopaminergic neurons derived from pluripotent stem cells are among the best investigated products of in vitro stem cell differentiation owing to their potential use for neurorestorative therapy of Parkinson's disease. However, the classical differentiation protocols for both mouse and human pluripotent stem cells generate a limited percentage of dopaminergic neurons and yield a considerable cellular heterogeneity comprising numerous scarcely characterized cell populations. To improve pluripotent stem cell differentiation protocols for midbrain dopaminergic neurons, we established extensive and strictly quantitative gene expression profiles, including markers for pluripotent cells, neural progenitors, non-neural cells, pan-neuronal and glial cells, neurotransmitter phenotypes, midbrain and nonmidbrain populations, floor plate and basal plate populations, as well as for Hedgehog, Fgf, and Wnt signaling pathways. The profiles were applied to discrete stages of in vitro differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells toward the dopaminergic lineage and after transplantation into the striatum of 6-hydroxy-dopamine-lesioned rats. The comparison of gene expression in vitro with stages in the developing ventral midbrain between embryonic day 11.5 and 13.5 ex vivo revealed dynamic changes in the expression of transcription factors and signaling molecules. Based on these profiles, we propose quantitative gene expression milestones that predict the efficiency of dopaminergic differentiation achieved at the end point of the protocol, already at earlier stages of differentiation.

  15. Wnt5a cooperates with canonical Wnts to generate midbrain dopaminergic neurons in vivo and in stem cells.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Emma R; Saltó, Carmen; Villaescusa, J Carlos; Cajanek, Lukas; Yang, Shanzheng; Bryjova, Lenka; Nagy, Irina I; Vainio, Seppo J; Ramirez, Carmen; Bryja, Vitezslav; Arenas, Ernest

    2013-02-12

    Wnts are a family of secreted proteins that regulate multiple steps of neural development and stem cell differentiation. Two of them, Wnt1 and Wnt5a, activate distinct branches of Wnt signaling and individually regulate different aspects of midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neuron development. However, several of their functions and interactions remain to be elucidated. Here, we report that loss of Wnt1 results in loss of Lmx1a and Ngn2 expression, as well as agenesis of DA neurons in the midbrain floor plate. Remarkably, a few ectopic DA neurons still emerge in the basal plate of Wnt1(-/-) mice, where Lmx1a is ectopically expressed. These results indicate that Wnt1 orchestrates DA specification and neurogenesis in vivo. Analysis of Wnt1(-/-);Wnt5a(-/-) mice revealed a greater loss of Nurr1(+) cells and DA neurons than in single mutants, indicating that Wnt1 and Wnt5a interact genetically and cooperate to promote midbrain DA neuron development in vivo. Our results unravel a functional interaction between Wnt1 and Wnt5a resulting in enhanced DA neurogenesis. Taking advantage of these findings, we have developed an application of Wnts to improve the generation of midbrain DA neurons from neural and embryonic stem cells. We thus show that coordinated Wnt actions promote DA neuron development in vivo and in stem cells and suggest that coordinated Wnt administration can be used to improve DA differentiation of stem cells and the development of stem cell-based therapies for Parkinson's disease.

  16. Molecular Heterogeneity of Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons – Moving Toward Single Cell Resolution

    PubMed Central

    Anderegg, Angela; Poulin, Jean-Francois; Awatramani, Rajeshwar

    2015-01-01

    Since their discovery, midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons have been researched extensively, in part because of their diverse functions and involvement in various neuropsychiatric disorders. Over the last few decades, reports have emerged that midbrain DA neurons were not a homogeneous group, but that DA neurons located in distinct anatomical locations within the midbrain had distinctive properties in terms of physiology, function, and vulnerability. Accordingly, several studies focused on identifying heterogeneous gene expression across DA neuron clusters. Here we review the importance of understanding DA neuron heterogeneity at the molecular level, previous studies detailing heterogeneous gene expression in DA neurons, and finally recent work which brings together previous heterogeneous gene expression profiles in a coordinated manner, at single cell resolution. PMID:26505674

  17. Regulation of Firing Frequency in a Computational Model of a Midbrain Dopaminergic Neuron

    PubMed Central

    Kuznetsova, Anna Y; Huertas, Marco A.; Kuznetsov, Alexey S; Paladini, Carlos A; Canavier, Carmen C

    2010-01-01

    Dopaminergic (DA) neurons of the mammalian midbrain exhibit unusually low firing frequencies in vitro. Furthermore, injection of depolarizing current induces depolarization block before high frequencies are achieved. The maximum steady and transient rates are about 10 and 20 Hz, respectively, despite the ability of these neurons to generate bursts at higher frequencies in vivo. We use a three-compartment model calibrated to reproduce DA neuron responses to several pharmacological manipulations to uncover mechanisms of frequency limitation. The model exhibits a slow oscillatory potential (SOP) dependent on the interplay between the L-type Ca2+ current and the small conductance K+ (SK) current that is unmasked by fast Na+ current block. Contrary to previous theoretical work, the SOP does not pace the steady spiking frequency in our model. The main currents that determine the spontaneous firing frequency are the subthreshold L-type Ca2+ and the A-type K+ currents. The model identifies the channel densities for the fast Na+ and the delayed rectifier K+ currents as critical parameters limiting the maximal steady frequency evoked by a depolarizing pulse. We hypothesize that the low maximal steady frequencies result from a low safety factor for action potential generation. In the model, the rate of Ca2+ accumulation in the distal dendrites controls the transient initial frequency in response to a depolarizing pulse. Similar results are obtained when the same model parameters are used in a multi-compartmental model with a realistic reconstructed morphology, indicating that the salient contributions of the dendritic architecture have been captured by the simpler model. PMID:20217204

  18. Regulation of firing frequency in a computational model of a midbrain dopaminergic neuron.

    PubMed

    Kuznetsova, Anna Y; Huertas, Marco A; Kuznetsov, Alexey S; Paladini, Carlos A; Canavier, Carmen C

    2010-06-01

    Dopaminergic (DA) neurons of the mammalian midbrain exhibit unusually low firing frequencies in vitro. Furthermore, injection of depolarizing current induces depolarization block before high frequencies are achieved. The maximum steady and transient rates are about 10 and 20 Hz, respectively, despite the ability of these neurons to generate bursts at higher frequencies in vivo. We use a three-compartment model calibrated to reproduce DA neuron responses to several pharmacological manipulations to uncover mechanisms of frequency limitation. The model exhibits a slow oscillatory potential (SOP) dependent on the interplay between the L-type Ca(2+) current and the small conductance K(+) (SK) current that is unmasked by fast Na(+) current block. Contrary to previous theoretical work, the SOP does not pace the steady spiking frequency in our model. The main currents that determine the spontaneous firing frequency are the subthreshold L-type Ca(2+) and the A-type K(+) currents. The model identifies the channel densities for the fast Na(+) and the delayed rectifier K(+) currents as critical parameters limiting the maximal steady frequency evoked by a depolarizing pulse. We hypothesize that the low maximal steady frequencies result from a low safety factor for action potential generation. In the model, the rate of Ca(2+) accumulation in the distal dendrites controls the transient initial frequency in response to a depolarizing pulse. Similar results are obtained when the same model parameters are used in a multi-compartmental model with a realistic reconstructed morphology, indicating that the salient contributions of the dendritic architecture have been captured by the simpler model.

  19. Lmx1a and Lmx1b regulate mitochondrial functions and survival of adult midbrain dopaminergic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Doucet-Beaupré, Hélène; Gilbert, Catherine; Profes, Marcos Schaan; Chabrat, Audrey; Pacelli, Consiglia; Giguère, Nicolas; Rioux, Véronique; Deng, Qiaolin; Laguna, Ariadna; Ericson, Johan; Perlmann, Thomas; Ang, Siew-Lan; Cicchetti, Francesca; Parent, Martin; Trudeau, Louis-Eric; Lévesque, Martin

    2016-01-01

    The LIM-homeodomain transcription factors Lmx1a and Lmx1b play critical roles during the development of midbrain dopaminergic progenitors, but their functions in the adult brain remain poorly understood. We show here that sustained expression of Lmx1a and Lmx1b is required for the survival of adult midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Strikingly, inactivation of Lmx1a and Lmx1b recreates cellular features observed in Parkinson’s disease. We found that Lmx1a/b control the expression of key genes involved in mitochondrial functions, and their ablation results in impaired respiratory chain activity, increased oxidative stress, and mitochondrial DNA damage. Lmx1a/b deficiency caused axonal pathology characterized by α-synuclein+ inclusions, followed by a progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons. These results reveal the key role of these transcription factors beyond the early developmental stages and provide mechanistic links between mitochondrial dysfunctions, α-synuclein aggregation, and the survival of dopaminergic neurons. PMID:27407143

  20. TGF-beta superfamily members promote survival of midbrain dopaminergic neurons and protect them against MPP+ toxicity.

    PubMed Central

    Krieglstein, K; Suter-Crazzolara, C; Fischer, W H; Unsicker, K

    1995-01-01

    The superfamily of transforming growth factors-beta (TGF-beta) comprises an expanding list of multifunctional proteins serving as regulators of cell proliferation and differentiation. Prominent members of this family include the TGF-beta s 1-5, activins, bone morphogenetic proteins and a recently discovered glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). In the present study we demonstrate and compare the survival promoting and neuroprotective effects of TGF-beta 1, -2 and -3, activin A and GDNF for midbrain dopaminergic neurons in vitro. All proteins increase the survival of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive dopaminergic neurons isolated from the embryonic day (E) 14 rat mesencephalon floor to varying extents (TGF-beta s 2.5-fold, activin A and GDNF 1.6-fold). TGF-beta s, activin A and GDNF did not augment numbers of very rarely observed astroglial cells visualized by using antibodies to glial fibrillary acidic protein and had no effect on cell proliferation monitored by incorporation of BrdU. TGF-beta 1 and activin A protected dopaminergic neurons against N-methyl-4-phenylpiridinium ion toxicity. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis indicated that TGF-beta 2 mRNA, but not GDNF mRNA, is expressed in the E14 rat midbrain floor and in mesencephalic cultures. We conclude that TGF-beta s 1-3, activin A and GDNF share a neurotrophic capacity for developing dopaminergic neurons, which is not mediated by astroglial cells and not accompanied by an increase in cell proliferation. Images PMID:7882977

  1. Tiam1 Regulates the Wnt/Dvl/Rac1 Signaling Pathway and the Differentiation of Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Čajánek, Lukáš; Ganji, Ranjani Sri; Henriques-Oliveira, Catarina; Theofilopoulos, Spyridon; Koník, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms that drive the differentiation of dopaminergic (DA) neurons is crucial for successful development of novel therapies for Parkinson's disease, in which DA neurons progressively degenerate. However, the mechanisms underlying the differentiation-promoting effects of Wnt5a on DA precursors are poorly understood. Here, we present the molecular and functional characterization of a signaling pathway downstream of Wnt5a, the Wnt/Dvl/Rac1 pathway. First, we characterize the interaction between Rac1 and Dvl and identify the N-terminal part of Dvl3 as necessary for Rac1 binding. Next, we show that Tiam1, a Rac1 guanosine exchange factor (GEF), is expressed in the ventral midbrain, interacts with Dvl, facilitates Dvl-Rac1 interaction, and is required for Dvl- or Wnt5a-induced activation of Rac1. Moreover, we show that Wnt5a promotes whereas casein kinase 1 (CK1), a negative regulator of the Wnt/Dvl/Rac1 pathway, abolishes the interactions between Dvl and Tiam1. Finally, using ventral midbrain neurosphere cultures, we demonstrate that the generation of DA neurons in culture is impaired after Tiam1 knockdown, indicating that Tiam1 is required for midbrain DA differentiation. In summary, our data identify Tiam1 as a novel regulator of DA neuron development and as a Dvl-associated and Rac1-specific GEF acting in the Wnt/Dvl/Rac1 pathway. PMID:23109420

  2. Nato3 integrates with the Shh-Foxa2 transcriptional network regulating the differentiation of midbrain dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Nissim-Eliraz, Einat; Zisman, Sophie; Schatz, Omri; Ben-Arie, Nissim

    2013-09-01

    Mesencephalic dopaminergic (mesDA) neurons originate from the floor plate of the midbrain, a transient embryonic organizing center located at the ventral-most midline. Since the loss of mesDA leads to Parkinson's disease, the molecular mechanisms controlling the genesis and differentiation of dopaminergic progenitors are extensively studied and the identification and characterization of new genes is of interest. Here, we show that the expression of the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor Nato3 (Ferd3l) increases in parallel to the differentiation of SN4741 dopaminergic cells in vitro. Nato3 transcription is directly regulated by the transcription factor Foxa2, a target and effector of the Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling cascade. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of Shh signaling downregulated the expression of Nato3, thus defining Nato3 as a novel component of one of the major pathways controlling cell patterning and generation of mesDA. Furthermore, we show that Nato3 regulated Shh and Foxa2 through a novel feed-backward loop. Up- and downregulation of Nato3 further affected the transcription of Nurr1, implicated in the genesis of mesDA, but not of TH. Taken together, these data shed new light on the transcriptional networks controlling the generation of mesDA and may be utilized in the efforts to direct stem cells towards a dopaminergic fate.

  3. Modafinil inhibits rat midbrain dopaminergic neurons through D2-like receptors.

    PubMed

    Korotkova, T M; Klyuch, B P; Ponomarenko, A A; Lin, J S; Haas, H L; Sergeeva, O A

    2007-02-01

    Modafinil is a well-tolerated medication for excessive sleepiness, attention-deficit disorder, cocaine dependence and as an adjunct to antidepressants with low propensity for abuse. We investigated the modafinil action on identified dopaminergic and GABAergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra (SN) of rat brain slices. Modafinil (20 microM) inhibited the firing of dopaminergic, but not GABAergic neurons. This inhibition was maintained in the presence of tetrodotoxin and was accompanied by hyperpolarization. Sulpiride (10 microM), a D2-receptor antagonist, but not prazosine (20 microM, an alpha1-adrenoreceptor blocker) abolished the modafinil action. Inhibition of dopamine reuptake with a low dose of nomifensine (1 microM) reduced the firing of DA neurons in a sulpiride-dependent manner and blunted the effect of modafinil. On acutely isolated neurons, modafinil evoked D2-receptor-mediated outward currents in tyrosine-hydroxylase positive cells, identified by single-cell RT-PCR, which reversed polarity near the K(+) equilibrium potential and were unchanged in the presence of nomifensine. Thus modafinil directly inhibits DA neurons through D2 receptors.

  4. Efficient generation of hPSC-derived midbrain dopaminergic neurons in a fully defined, scalable, 3D biomaterial platform

    PubMed Central

    Adil, Maroof M.; Rodrigues, Gonçalo M. C.; Kulkarni, Rishikesh U.; Rao, Antara T.; Chernavsky, Nicole E.; Miller, Evan W.; Schaffer, David V.

    2017-01-01

    Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) have major potential as an unlimited source of functional cells for many biomedical applications; however, the development of cell manufacturing systems to enable this promise faces many challenges. For example, there have been major recent advances in the generation of midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons from stem cells for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) therapy; however, production of these cells typically involves undefined components and difficult to scale 2D culture formats. Here, we used a fully defined, 3D, thermoresponsive biomaterial platform to rapidly generate large numbers of action-potential firing mDA neurons after 25 days of differentiation (~40% tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) positive, maturing into 25% cells exhibiting mDA neuron-like spiking behavior). Importantly, mDA neurons generated in 3D exhibited a 30-fold increase in viability upon implantation into rat striatum compared to neurons generated on 2D, consistent with the elevated expression of survival markers FOXA2 and EN1 in 3D. A defined, scalable, and resource-efficient cell culture platform can thus rapidly generate high quality differentiated cells, both neurons and potentially other cell types, with strong potential to accelerate both basic and translational research. PMID:28091566

  5. Angiotensin II protects cultured midbrain dopaminergic neurons against rotenone-induced cell death.

    PubMed

    Grammatopoulos, Tom N; Ahmadi, Ferogh; Jones, Susan M; Fariss, Marc W; Weyhenmeyer, James A; Zawada, W Michael

    2005-05-31

    In this study, we demonstrate that angiotensin II (Ang II) protects dopamine (DA) neurons from rotenone toxicity in vitro. Primary ventral mesencephalic (VM) cultures from E15 rats were grown for 5 days and then cultured in the presence of the mitochondrial complex I inhibitor, rotenone. Acute exposure (20 h) to 20 nM rotenone reduced the number of tyrosine hydroxylase-positive (TH+) neurons by 50 +/- 6% when compared to untreated cultures. Pre-treatment of VM cultures with 100 nM Ang II decreased TH+ neuronal loss to 25 +/- 10% at the 20-nM rotenone concentration. Ang II in the presence of the angiotensin type 1 receptor (AT1R) antagonist, losartan, was even more effective in protecting DA neurons showing a loss of only 13 +/- 4% at 20 nM rotenone. Conversely, the AT2R antagonist, PD123319, abolished the protective effects of Ang II. Furthermore, both the NMDA receptor antagonist, MK801, and the antioxidant, alpha-tocopheryl succinate (vitamin E analogue), prevented rotenone-induced toxicity. Here, we show that acute exposure of VM cultures to the pesticide rotenone leads to dopaminergic neuronal cell death and that angiotensin acting through the AT2 receptor protects dopamine neurons from rotenone toxicity.

  6. Activation of midbrain presumed dopaminergic neurones by muscarinic cholinergic receptors: an in vivo electrophysiological study in the rat

    PubMed Central

    Gronier, B; Rasmussen, K

    1998-01-01

    Extracellular single-unit recording and iontophoresis were used to examine the effects of different cholinoceptor agonists and antagonists on the firing rate and firing pattern of A9 and A10 presumed dopaminergic neurones in the anaesthetized rat.Administration of low currents (1–5 nA) of the selective muscarinic agonists oxotremorine M (Oxo M) and muscarine and of the non-selective muscarinic/nicotinic agonist carbamylcholine (CCh) produced a dose-dependent increase in firing rate in most of the A9 and A10 presumed dopaminergic neurones tested. Oxo M-induced activation could be completely blocked by iontophoretic application of the muscarinic antagonist butyl-scopolamine or systemic administration of the muscarinic antagonist scopolamine (300 μg kg−1, i.v.).Iontophoretic application of the selective nicotinic agonist methylcarbamylcholine (MCCh), but not nicotine, induced a consistent increase in firing rate. Surprisingly, the excitatory effect of MCCh was significantly reduced by the selective muscarinic antagonist scopolamine (300 μg kg−1, i.v.), but not by the selective nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine (2.2 mg kg−1, i.v.). Mecamylamine (3 mg kg−1, i.v.) was also ineffective in reducing the CCh-induced activation of presumed dopamine neurones, suggesting that both CCh and MCCh increased the activity of dopamine neurones via an interaction with muscarinic receptors.Iontophoretic application of the endogenous agonist acetylcholine (ACh) had no or little effect on the firing activity of A10 presumed dopaminergic neurones. However, concomitant application of neostigmine, a potent cholinesterase inhibitor, with acetylcholine induced a substantial activation of these neurones. This activation consisted of two components; one, which was prevalent, was scopolamine (300 μg kg−1, i.v.)-sensitive, and the other was mecamylamine (2 mg kg−1, i.v.)-sensitive.In addition to their effect on firing activity, Oxo M, muscarine and

  7. Marked differences in the number and type of synapses innervating the somata and primary dendrites of midbrain dopaminergic neurons, striatal cholinergic interneurons, and striatal spiny projection neurons in the rat.

    PubMed

    Sizemore, Rachel J; Zhang, Rong; Lin, Naili; Goddard, Liping; Wastney, Timothy; Parr-Brownlie, Louise C; Reynolds, John N J; Oorschot, Dorothy E

    2016-04-01

    Elucidating the link between cellular activity and goal-directed behavior requires a fuller understanding of the mechanisms underlying burst firing in midbrain dopaminergic neurons and those that suppress activity during aversive or non-rewarding events. We have characterized the afferent synaptic connections onto these neurons in the rat substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), and compared these findings with cholinergic interneurons and spiny projection neurons in the striatum. We found that the average absolute number of synapses was three to three and one-half times greater onto the somata of dorsal striatal spiny projection neurons than onto the somata of dopaminergic neurons in the SNpc or dorsal striatal cholinergic interneurons. A similar comparison between populations of dopamine neurons revealed a two times greater number of somatic synapses on VTA dopaminergic neurons than SNpc dopaminergic neurons. The percentage of symmetrical, presumably inhibitory, synaptic inputs on somata was significantly higher on spiny projection neurons and cholinergic interneurons compared with SNpc dopaminergic neurons. Synaptic data on the primary dendrites yielded similar significant differences for the percentage of symmetrical synapses for VTA dopaminergic vs. striatal neurons. No differences in the absolute number or type of somatic synapses were evident for dopaminergic neurons in the SNpc of Wistar vs. Sprague-Dawley rat strains. These data from identified neurons are pivotal for interpreting their electrophysiological responses to afferent activity and for generating realistic computer models of neuronal networks of striatal and midbrain dopaminergic function.

  8. Interaction of NMDA Receptor and Pacemaking Mechanisms in the Midbrain Dopaminergic Neuron

    PubMed Central

    Ha, Joon; Kuznetsov, Alexey

    2013-01-01

    Dopamine neurotransmission has been found to play a role in addictive behavior and is altered in psychiatric disorders. Dopaminergic (DA) neurons display two functionally distinct modes of electrophysiological activity: low- and high-frequency firing. A puzzling feature of the DA neuron is the following combination of its responses: N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) activation evokes high-frequency firing, whereas other tonic excitatory stimuli (-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate receptor (AMPAR) activation or applied depolarization) block firing instead. We suggest a new computational model that reproduces this combination of responses and explains recent experimental data. Namely, somatic NMDAR stimulation evokes high-frequency firing and is more effective than distal dendritic stimulation. We further reduce the model to a single compartment and analyze the mechanism of the distinct high-frequency response to NMDAR activation vs. other stimuli. Standard nullcline analysis shows that the mechanism is based on a decrease in the amplitude of calcium oscillations. The analysis confirms that the nonlinear voltage dependence provided by the magnesium block of the NMDAR determine its capacity to elevate the firing frequency. We further predict that the moderate slope of the voltage dependence plays the central role in the frequency elevation. Additionally, we suggest a repolarizing current that sustains calcium-independent firing or firing in the absence of calcium-dependent repolarizing currents. We predict that the ether–a-go-go current (ERG), which has been observed in the DA neuron, is the best fit for this critical role. We show that a calcium-dependent and a calcium-independent oscillatory mechanisms form a structure of interlocked negative feedback loops in the DA neuron. The structure connects research of DA neuron firing with circadian biology and determines common minimal models for investigation of robustness of oscillations, which is

  9. The Effects of Electrical and Optical Stimulation of Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons on Rat 50-kHz Ultrasonic Vocalizations

    PubMed Central

    Scardochio, Tina; Trujillo-Pisanty, Ivan; Conover, Kent; Shizgal, Peter; Clarke, Paul B. S.

    2015-01-01

    Rationale: Adult rats emit ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) at around 50-kHz; these commonly occur in contexts that putatively engender positive affect. While several reports indicate that dopaminergic (DAergic) transmission plays a role in the emission of 50-kHz calls, the pharmacological evidence is mixed. Different modes of dopamine (DA) release (i.e., tonic and phasic) could potentially explain this discrepancy. Objective: To investigate the potential role of phasic DA release in 50-kHz call emission. Methods: In Experiment 1, USVs were recorded in adult male rats following unexpected electrical stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB). In parallel, phasic DA release in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) was recorded using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry. In Experiment 2, USVs were recorded following response-contingent or non-contingent optogenetic stimulation of midbrain DAergic neurons. Four 20-s schedules of optogenetic stimulation were used: fixed-interval, fixed-time, variable-interval, and variable-time. Results: Brief electrical stimulation of the MFB increased both 50-kHz call rate and phasic DA release in the NAcc. During optogenetic stimulation sessions, rats initially called at a high rate comparable to that observed following reinforcers such as psychostimulants. Although optogenetic stimulation maintained reinforced responding throughout the 2-h session, the call rate declined to near zero within the first 30 min. The trill call subtype predominated following both electrical and optical stimulation. Conclusion: The occurrence of electrically-evoked 50-kHz calls, time-locked to phasic DA (Experiment 1), provides correlational evidence supporting a role for phasic DA in USV production. However, in Experiment 2, the temporal dissociation between calling and optogenetic stimulation of midbrain DAergic neurons suggests that phasic mesolimbic DA release is not sufficient to produce 50-kHz calls. The emission of the trill subtype of 50-kHz calls

  10. Conditional Expression of Parkinson's Disease-Related R1441C LRRK2 in Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons of Mice Causes Nuclear Abnormalities without Neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Tsika, Elpida; Kannan, Meghna; Foo, Caroline Shi-Yan; Dikeman, Dustin; Glauser, Liliane; Gellhaar, Sandra; Galter, Dagmar; Knott, Graham W.; Dawson, Ted M.; Dawson, Valina L.; Moore, Darren J.

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene cause late-onset, autosomal dominant Parkinson's disease (PD). The clinical and neurochemical features of LRRK2-linked PD are similar to idiopathic disease although neuropathology is somewhat heterogeneous. Dominant mutations in LRRK2 precipitate neurodegeneration through a toxic gain-of-function mechanism which can be modeled in transgenic mice overexpressing human LRRK2 variants. A number of LRRK2 transgenic mouse models have been developed that display abnormalities in dopaminergic neurotransmission and alterations in tau metabolism yet without consistently inducing dopaminergic neurodegeneration. To directly explore the impact of mutant LRRK2 on the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway, we developed conditional transgenic mice that selectively express human R1441C LRRK2 in dopaminergic neurons from the endogenous murine ROSA26 promoter. The expression of R1441C LRRK2 does not induce the degeneration of substantia nigra dopaminergic neurons or striatal dopamine deficits in mice up to 2 years of age, and fails to precipitate abnormal protein inclusions containing alpha-synuclein, tau, ubiquitin or autophagy markers (LC3 and p62). Furthermore, mice expressing R1441C LRRK2 exhibit normal motor activity and olfactory function with increasing age. Intriguingly, the expression of R1441C LRRK2 induces age-dependent abnormalities of the nuclear envelope in nigral dopaminergic neurons including reduced nuclear circularity and increased invaginations of the nuclear envelope. In addition, R1441C LRRK2 mice display increased neurite complexity of cultured midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Collectively, these novel R1441C LRRK2 conditional transgenic mice reveal altered dopaminergic neuronal morphology with advancing age, and provide a useful tool for exploring the pathogenic mechanisms underlying the R1441C LRRK2 mutation in PD. PMID:25174890

  11. Dickkopf 3 Promotes the Differentiation of a Rostrolateral Midbrain Dopaminergic Neuronal Subset In Vivo and from Pluripotent Stem Cells In Vitro in the Mouse.

    PubMed

    Fukusumi, Yoshiyasu; Meier, Florian; Götz, Sebastian; Matheus, Friederike; Irmler, Martin; Beckervordersandforth, Ruth; Faus-Kessler, Theresa; Minina, Eleonora; Rauser, Benedict; Zhang, Jingzhong; Arenas, Ernest; Andersson, Elisabet; Niehrs, Christof; Beckers, Johannes; Simeone, Antonio; Wurst, Wolfgang; Prakash, Nilima

    2015-09-30

    Wingless-related MMTV integration site 1 (WNT1)/β-catenin signaling plays a crucial role in the generation of mesodiencephalic dopaminergic (mdDA) neurons, including the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) subpopulation that preferentially degenerates in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the precise functions of WNT1/β-catenin signaling in this context remain unknown. Stem cell-based regenerative (transplantation) therapies for PD have not been implemented widely in the clinical context, among other reasons because of the heterogeneity and incomplete differentiation of the transplanted cells. This might result in tumor formation and poor integration of the transplanted cells into the dopaminergic circuitry of the brain. Dickkopf 3 (DKK3) is a secreted glycoprotein implicated in the modulation of WNT/β-catenin signaling. Using mutant mice, primary ventral midbrain cells, and pluripotent stem cells, we show that DKK3 is necessary and sufficient for the correct differentiation of a rostrolateral mdDA neuron subset. Dkk3 transcription in the murine ventral midbrain coincides with the onset of mdDA neurogenesis and is required for the activation and/or maintenance of LMX1A (LIM homeobox transcription factor 1α) and PITX3 (paired-like homeodomain transcription factor 3) expression in the corresponding mdDA precursor subset, without affecting the proliferation or specification of their progenitors. Notably, the treatment of differentiating pluripotent stem cells with recombinant DKK3 and WNT1 proteins also increases the proportion of mdDA neurons with molecular SNc DA cell characteristics in these cultures. The specific effects of DKK3 on the differentiation of rostrolateral mdDA neurons in the murine ventral midbrain, together with its known prosurvival and anti-tumorigenic properties, make it a good candidate for the improvement of regenerative and neuroprotective strategies in the treatment of PD. Significance statement: We show here that Dickkopf 3 (DKK3), a

  12. The {beta}-chemokines CCL2 and CCL7 are two novel differentiation factors for midbrain dopaminergic precursors and neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Edman, Linda C.; Mira, Helena; Arenas, Ernest

    2008-06-10

    {beta}-chemokines are secreted factors that regulate diverse functions in the adult brain, such as neuro-immune responses and neurotransmission, but their function in the developing brain is largely unknown. We recently found that the orphan nuclear receptor, Nurr1, up regulates CCL2 and CCL7 in neural stem cells, suggesting a possible function of {beta}-chemokines in midbrain development. Here we report that two {beta}-chemokines, CCL2 and CCL7, and two of their receptors, CCR1 and CCR2, are expressed and developmentally regulated in the ventral midbrain (VM). Moreover, we found that the expression of CCL7 was down regulated in the Nurr1 knockout mice, linking CCL7 to dopamine (DA) neuron development. When the function of CCL2 and CCL7 was examined, we found that they selectively enhanced the differentiation of Nurr1+ precursors into DA neurons, but not their survival or progenitor proliferation in primary precursor cultures. Moreover, both CCL2 and CCL7 promoted neuritogenesis in midbrain DA neuron cultures. Thus, our results show for the first time a function of {beta}-chemokines in the developing brain and identify {beta}-chemokines as novel class of pro-differentiation factors for midbrain DA neurons. These data also suggest that {beta}-chemokines may become useful tools to enhance the differentiation of DA cell preparations for cell replacement therapy and drug discovery in Parkinson's disease (PD)

  13. Role of Dopamine D2/D3 Receptors in Development, Plasticity, and Neuroprotection in Human iPSC-Derived Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons.

    PubMed

    Bono, Federica; Savoia, Paola; Guglielmi, Adele; Gennarelli, Massimo; Piovani, Giovanna; Sigala, Sandra; Leo, Damiana; Espinoza, Stefano; Gainetdinov, Raul R; Devoto, Paola; Spano, PierFranco; Missale, Cristina; Fiorentini, Chiara

    2017-01-14

    The role of dopamine D2 and D3 receptors (D2R/D3R), located on midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons, in the regulation of DA synthesis and release and in DA neuron homeostasis has been extensively investigated in rodent animal models. By contrast, the properties of D2R/D3R in human DA neurons have not been elucidated yet. On this line, the use of human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) for producing any types of cells has offered the innovative opportunity for investigating the human neuronal phenotypes at the molecular levels. In the present study, hiPSCs generated from human dermal fibroblasts were used to produce midbrain DA (mDA) neurons, expressing the proper set of genes and proteins typical of authentic, terminally differentiated DA neurons. In this model, the expression and the functional properties of the human D2R/D3R were investigated with a combination of biochemical and functional techniques. We observed that in hiPSC-derived mDA neurons, the activation of D2R/D3R promotes the proliferation of neuronal progenitor cells. In addition, we found that D2R/D3R activation inhibits nicotine-stimulated DA release and exerts neurotrophic effects on mDA neurons that likely occur via the activation of PI3K-dependent mechanisms. Furthermore, D2R/D3R stimulation counteracts both the aggregation of alpha-synuclein induced by glucose deprivation and the associated neuronal damage affecting both the soma and the dendrites of mDA neurons. Taken together, these data point to the D2R/D3R-related signaling events as a biochemical pathway crucial for supporting both neuronal development and survival and protection of human DA neurons.

  14. Dkk1 regulates ventral midbrain dopaminergic differentiation and morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Diogo; Ellwanger, Kristina; Glagow, Désirée; Theofilopoulos, Spyridon; Corsini, Nina S; Martin-Villalba, Ana; Niehrs, Christof; Arenas, Ernest

    2011-02-11

    Dickkopf1 (Dkk1) is a Wnt/β-catenin inhibitor that participates in many processes during embryonic development. One of its roles during embryogenesis is to induce head formation, since Dkk1-null mice lack head structures anterior to midbrain. The Wnt/β-catenin pathway is also known to regulate different aspects of ventral midbrain (VM) dopaminergic (DA) neuron development and, in vitro, Dkk1-mediated inhibition of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway improves the DA differentiation in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESC). However, the in vivo function of Dkk1 on the development of midbrain DA neurons remains to be elucidated. Here we examined Dkk1(+/-) embryos and found that Dkk1 is required for the differentiation of DA precursors/neuroblasts into DA neurons at E13.5. This deficit persisted until E17.5, when a defect in the number and distribution of VM DA neurons was detected. Furthermore, analysis of the few Dkk1(-/-) embryos that survived until E17.5 revealed a more severe loss of midbrain DA neurons and morphogenesis defects. Our results thus show that Dkk1 is required for midbrain DA differentiation and morphogenesis.

  15. Protection of Primary Dopaminergic Midbrain Neurons by GPR139 Agonists Supports Different Mechanisms of MPP+ and Rotenone Toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Bayer Andersen, Kirsten; Leander Johansen, Jens; Hentzer, Morten; Smith, Garrick Paul; Dietz, Gunnar P. H.

    2016-01-01

    The G-protein coupled receptor 139 (GPR139) is expressed specifically in the brain in areas of relevance for motor control. GPR139 function and signal transduction pathways are elusive, and results in the literature are even contradictory. Here, we examined the potential neuroprotective effect of GPR139 agonism in primary culture models of dopaminergic (DA) neuronal degeneration. We find that in vitro GPR139 agonists protected primary mesencephalic DA neurons against 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+)-mediated degeneration. Protection was concentration-dependent and could be blocked by a GPR139 antagonist. However, the protection of DA neurons was not found against rotenone or 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) mediated degeneration. Our results support differential mechanisms of toxicity for those substances commonly used in Parkinson’s disease (PD) models and potential for GPR139 agonists in neuroprotection. PMID:27445691

  16. Disrupted Functional Connectivity with Dopaminergic Midbrain in Cocaine Abusers

    SciTech Connect

    Tomasi, D.; Tomasi, D.; Volkow, N.D.; Wang, R.; Carrillo, J.; Maloney, T.; Alia-Klein, N.; Woicik, P.A.; Telang, F.; Goldstein, R.Z.

    2010-06-01

    Chronic cocaine use is associated with disrupted dopaminergic neurotransmission but how this disruption affects overall brain function (other than reward/motivation) is yet to be fully investigated. Here we test the hypothesis that cocaine addicted subjects will have disrupted functional connectivity between the midbrain (where dopamine neurons are located) and cortical and subcortical brain regions during the performance of a sustained attention task. We measured brain activation and functional connectivity with fMRI in 20 cocaine abusers and 20 matched controls. When compared to controls, cocaine abusers had lower positive functional connectivity of midbrain with thalamus, cerebellum, and rostral cingulate, and this was associated with decreased activation in thalamus and cerebellum and enhanced deactivation in rostral cingulate. These findings suggest that decreased functional connectivity of the midbrain interferes with the activation and deactivation signals associated with sustained attention in cocaine addicts.

  17. Conditional Expression of Parkinson disease-related Mutant α-synuclein in the Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons causes Progressive Neurodegeneration and Degradation of Transcription Factor Nuclear Receptor Related 1

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Xian; Parisiadou, Loukia; Sgobio, Carmelo; Liu, Guoxiang; Yu, Jia; Sun, Lixin; Shim, Hoon; Gu, Xing-Long; Luo, Jing; Long, Cai-Xia; Ding, Jinhui; Mateo, Yolanda; Sullivan, Patricia H.; Wu, Ling-Gang; Goldstein, David S.; Lovinger, David; Cai, Huaibin

    2012-01-01

    α-synuclein(α-syn) plays a prominent role in the degeneration of midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons in Parkinson disease (PD). However, only a few studies on α-syn have been carried out in the mDA neurons in vivo, which may be attributed to a lack of α-syn transgenic mice that develop PD-like severe degeneration of mDA neurons. To gain mechanistic insights into the α-syn-induced mDA neurodegeneration, we generated a new line of tetracycline-regulated inducible transgenic mice that overexpressed the PD-related α-syn A53T missense mutation in the mDA neurons. Here we show that the mutant mice developed profound motor disabilities and robust mDA neurodegeneration, resembling some key motor and pathological phenotypes of PD. We further systematically examined the subcellular abnormalities appeared in the mDA neurons of mutant mice, and observed a profound decrease of dopamine release, the fragmentation of Golgi apparatus, and impairments of autophagy/lysosome degradation pathways in these neurons. To further understand the specific molecular events leading to the α-syn-dependent degeneration of mDA neurons, we found that over-expression of α-syn promoted a proteasome-dependent degradation of nuclear receptor related 1 protein (Nurr1); while inhibition of Nurr1 degradation ameliorated the α-syn-induced loss of mDA neurons. Given that Nurr1 plays an essential role in maintaining the normal function and survival of mDA neurons, our studies suggest that the α-syn-mediated suppression of Nurr1 protein expression may contribute to the preferential vulnerability of mDA neurons in the pathogenesis of PD. PMID:22764233

  18. Protection of midbrain dopaminergic neurons by the end-product of purine metabolism uric acid: potentiation by low-level depolarization.

    PubMed

    Guerreiro, Serge; Ponceau, Aurélie; Toulorge, Damien; Martin, Elodie; Alvarez-Fischer, Daniel; Hirsch, Etienne C; Michel, Patrick P

    2009-05-01

    High plasma levels of the end product of purine metabolism uric acid (UA) predict a reduced risk of developing Parkinson's disease suggesting that UA may operate as a protective factor for midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Consistent with this view, UA exerted partial but long-term protection in a culture model in which these neurons die spontaneously. The rescued neurons were functional as they accumulated dopamine, efficiently. The use of the fluorescent probe dihydrorhodamine-123 revealed that UA operated by an antioxidant mechanism. The iron chelating agent desferrioxamine, the H(2)O(2) scavenger enzyme catalase and the inhibitor of lipid peroxidation Trolox mimicked the effects of UA, suggesting that UA neutralized reactive oxygen species produced via a Fenton-type chemical reaction. UA was, however, not significantly accumulated into neurons, which indicates that the antioxidant effect occurred probably extracellularly. Structure - activity relationships among purine derivatives revealed that the antioxidant properties of UA resulted from the presence of a 8-one substituent in its chemical structure. Of interest, the stimulation of L-type Ca(2+) channels by high K(+)-induced depolarization and the ensuing activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 strongly improved the neuroprotective effect of UA whereas the depolarizing signal alone had no effect. In summary, our data indicate that UA may interfere directly with the disease's pathomechanism.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-15

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

  20. Morphine regulates Argonaute 2 and TH expression and activity but not miR-133b in midbrain dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    García-Pérez, Daniel; López-Bellido, Roger; Hidalgo, Juana M; Rodríguez, Raquel E; Laorden, Maria Luisa; Núñez, Cristina; Milanés, Maria Victoria

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic changes such as microRNAs (miRs)/Ago2-induced gene silencing represent complex molecular signature that regulate cellular plasticity. Recent studies showed involvement of miRs and Ago2 in drug addiction. In this study, we show that changes in gene expression induced by morphine and morphine withdrawal occur with concomitant epigenetic modifications in the mesolimbic dopaminergic (DA) pathway [ventral tegmental area (VTA)/nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell], which is critically involved in drug-induced dependence. We found that acute or chronic morphine administration as well as morphine withdrawal did not modify miR-133b messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in the VTA, whereas Ago2 protein levels were decreased and increased in morphine-dependent rats and after morphine withdrawal, respectively. These changes were paralleled with enhanced and decreased NAc tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) protein (an early DA marker) in morphine-dependent rats and after withdrawal, respectively. We also observed changes in TH mRNA expression in the VTA that could be related to Ago2-induced translational repression of TH mRNA during morphine withdrawal. However, the VTA number of TH-positive neurons suffered no alterations after the different treatment. Acute morphine administration produced a marked increase in TH activity and DA turnover in the NAc (shell). In contrast, precipitated morphine withdrawal decreased TH activation and did not change DA turnover. These findings provide new information into the possible correlation between Ago2/miRs complex regulation and DA neurons plasticity during opiate addiction.

  1. Cell type-specific gene expression of midbrain dopaminergic neurons reveals molecules involved in their vulnerability and protection

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Chee Yeun; Seo, Hyemyung; Sonntag, Kai Christian; Brooks, Andrew; Lin, Ling; Isacson, Ole

    2008-01-01

    Molecular differences between dopamine (DA) neurons may explain why the mesostriatal DA neurons in the A9 region preferentially degenerate in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and toxic models, whereas the adjacent A10 region mesolimbic and mesocortical DA neurons are relatively spared. To characterize innate physiological differences between A9 and A10 DA neurons, we determined gene expression profiles in these neurons in the adult mouse by laser capture microdissection, microarray analysis and real-time PCR. We found 42 genes relatively elevated in A9 DA neurons, whereas 61 genes were elevated in A10 DA neurons [>2-fold; false discovery rate (FDR) <1%]. Genes of interest for further functional analysis were selected by criteria of (i) fold differences in gene expression, (ii) real-time PCR validation and (iii) potential roles in neurotoxic or protective biochemical pathways. Three A9-elevated molecules [G-protein coupled inwardly rectifying K channel 2 (GIRK2), adenine nucleotide translocator 2 (ANT-2) and the growth factor IGF-1] and three A10-elevated peptides (GRP, CGRP and PACAP) were further examined in both α-synuclein overexpressing PC12 (PC12-αSyn) cells and rat primary ventral mesencephalic (VM) cultures exposed to MPP+ neurotoxicity. GIRK2-positive DA neurons were more vulnerable to MPP+ toxicity and overexpression of GIRK2 increased the vulnerability of PC12-αSyn cells to the toxin. Blocking of ANT decreased vulnerability to MPP+ in both cell culture systems. Exposing cells to IGF-1, GRP and PACAP decreased vulnerability of both cell types to MPP+, whereas CGRP protected PC12-αSyn cells but not primary VM DA neurons. These results indicate that certain differentially expressed molecules in A9 and A10 DA neurons may play key roles in their relative vulnerability to toxins and PD. PMID:15888489

  2. Perinatal Exposure to Neuregulin-1 Results in Disinhibition of Adult Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons: Implication in Schizophrenia Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Namba, Hisaaki; Okubo, Takeshi; Nawa, Hiroyuki

    2016-01-01

    Aberrant neuregulin-1 (NRG1) signals are suggested to associate with the neuropathophysiology of schizophrenia. Employing a mouse schizophrenia model established by neonatal neuregulin-1 challenge, we analysed postpubertal consequence of the NRG1 pretreatment for the electrophysiological property of nigral dopamine neurons. In vivo single unit recordings from anaesthetized NRG1-pretreated mice revealed increased spike bursting of nigral dopamine neurons. In slice preparations from NRG1-pretreated mice, spontaneous firing was elevated relative to controls. The relative increase in firing rates was abolished by a GABAA receptor antagonist. Whole-cell recording showed that perinatal NRG1 pretreatment diminished inhibitory miniature synaptic currents as well as GABAA receptor sensitivity. These results collectively suggest that perinatal exposure to neuregulin-1 results in the disinhibition of nigral dopamine neurons to influence their firing properties at the adult stage when the behavioral deficits are evident. PMID:26935991

  3. 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

  4. Purified Wnt-5a increases differentiation of midbrain dopaminergic cells and dishevelled phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Schulte, Gunnar; Bryja, Vítezslav; Rawal, Nina; Castelo-Branco, Goncalo; Sousa, Kyle M; Arenas, Ernest

    2005-03-01

    The Wnt family of lipoproteins regulates several aspects of the development of the nervous system. Recently, we reported that Wnt-3a enhances the proliferation of midbrain dopaminergic precursors and that Wnt-5a promotes their differentiation into dopaminergic neurones. Here we report the purification of hemagglutinin-tagged Wnt-5a using a three-step purification method similar to that previously described for Wnt-3a. Haemagglutinin-tagged Wnt-5a was biologically active and induced the differentiation of immature primary midbrain precursors into tyrosine hydroxylase-positive dopaminergic neurones. Using a substantia nigra-derived dopaminergic cell line (SN4741), we found that Wnt-5a, unlike Wnt-3a, did not promote beta-catenin phosphorylation or stabilization. However, both Wnt-5a and Wnt-3a activated dishevelled, as assessed by a phosphorylation-dependent mobility shift. Moreover, the activity of Wnt-5a on dishevelled was blocked by pre-treatment with acyl protein thioesterase-1, indicating that palmitoylation of Wnt-5a is necessary for its function. Thus, our results suggest that Wnt-3a and Wnt-5a, respectively, activate canonical and non-canonical Wnt signalling pathways in ventral midbrain dopaminergic cells. Furthermore, we identify dishevelled as a key player in transducing both Wnt canonical and non-canonical signals in dopaminergic cells.

  5. Ascending midbrain dopaminergic axons require descending GAD65 axon fascicles for normal pathfinding

    PubMed Central

    García-Peña, Claudia M.; Kim, Minkyung; Frade-Pérez, Daniela; Ávila-González, Daniela; Téllez, Elisa; Mastick, Grant S.; Tamariz, Elisa; Varela-Echavarría, Alfredo

    2014-01-01

    The Nigrostriatal pathway (NSP) is formed by dopaminergic axons that project from the ventral midbrain to the dorsolateral striatum as part of the medial forebrain bundle. Previous studies have implicated chemotropic proteins in the formation of the NSP during development but little is known of the role of substrate-anchored signals in this process. We observed in mouse and rat embryos that midbrain dopaminergic axons ascend in close apposition to descending GAD65-positive axon bundles throughout their trajectory to the striatum. To test whether such interaction is important for dopaminergic axon pathfinding, we analyzed transgenic mouse embryos in which the GAD65 axon bundle was reduced by the conditional expression of the diphtheria toxin. In these embryos we observed dopaminergic misprojection into the hypothalamic region and abnormal projection in the striatum. In addition, analysis of Robo1/2 and Slit1/2 knockout embryos revealed that the previously described dopaminergic misprojection in these embryos is accompanied by severe alterations in the GAD65 axon scaffold. Additional studies with cultured dopaminergic neurons and whole embryos suggest that NCAM and Robo proteins are involved in the interaction of GAD65 and dopaminergic axons. These results indicate that the fasciculation between descending GAD65 axon bundles and ascending dopaminergic axons is required for the stereotypical NSP formation during brain development and that known guidance cues may determine this projection indirectly by instructing the pathfinding of the axons that are part of the GAD65 axon scaffold. PMID:24926237

  6. 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.

  7. Wnt5a Regulates Midbrain Dopaminergic Axon Growth and Guidance

    PubMed Central

    Blakely, Brette D.; Bye, Christopher R.; Fernando, Chathurini V.; Horne, Malcolm K.; Macheda, Maria L.; Stacker, Steven A.; Arenas, Ernest; Parish, Clare L.

    2011-01-01

    During development, precise temporal and spatial gradients are responsible for guiding axons to their appropriate targets. Within the developing ventral midbrain (VM) the cues that guide dopaminergic (DA) axons to their forebrain targets remain to be fully elucidated. Wnts are morphogens that have been identified as axon guidance molecules. Several Wnts are expressed in the VM where they regulate the birth of DA neurons. Here, we describe that a precise temporo-spatial expression of Wnt5a accompanies the development of nigrostriatal projections by VM DA neurons. In mice at E11.5, Wnt5a is expressed in the VM where it was found to promote DA neurite and axonal growth in VM primary cultures. By E14.5, when DA axons are approaching their striatal target, Wnt5a causes DA neurite retraction in primary cultures. Co-culture of VM explants with Wnt5a-overexpressing cell aggregates revealed that Wnt5a is capable of repelling DA neurites. Antagonism experiments revealed that the effects of Wnt5a are mediated by the Frizzled receptors and by the small GTPase, Rac1 (a component of the non-canonical Wnt planar cell polarity pathway). Moreover, the effects were specific as they could be blocked by Wnt5a antibody, sFRPs and RYK-Fc. The importance of Wnt5a in DA axon morphogenesis was further verified in Wnt5a−/− mice, where fasciculation of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) as well as the density of DA neurites in the MFB and striatal terminals were disrupted. Thus, our results identify a novel role of Wnt5a in DA axon growth and guidance. PMID:21483795

  8. Midbrain dopaminergic neurogenesis and behavioural recovery in a salamander lesion-induced regeneration model.

    PubMed

    Parish, Clare L; Beljajeva, Anna; Arenas, Ernest; Simon, András

    2007-08-01

    Death and lack of functional regeneration of midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons, decreased DA input in the target striatum and movement anomalies characterise Parkinson's disease (PD). There is currently no cure for PD. One way to promote recovery would be to induce or enhance DA neurogenesis. Whether DA neurogenesis occurs in the adult midbrain is a matter of debate. Here, we describe the creation of a salamander 6-hydroxydopamine model of PD to examine midbrain DA regeneration. We demonstrate a robust and complete regeneration of the mesencephalic and diencephalic DA system after elimination of DA neurons. Regeneration is contributed by DA neurogenesis, leads to histological restoration, and to full recovery of motor behaviour. Molecular analyses of the temporal expression pattern of DA determinants indicate that the regenerating DA neurons mature along a similar developmental program as their mammalian counterparts during embryogenesis. We also find that the adult salamander midbrain can reactivate radial glia-like ependymoglia cells that proliferate. The salamander model provides insights into the mechanisms of DA regeneration/neurogenesis and may contribute to the development of novel regenerative strategies for the mammalian brain.

  9. Physiological Characterisation of Human iPS-Derived Dopaminergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ribeiro Fernandes, Hugo J.; Vowles, Jane; James, William S.; Cowley, Sally A.; Wade-Martins, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) offer the potential to study otherwise inaccessible cell types. Critical to this is the directed differentiation of hiPSCs into functional cell lineages. This is of particular relevance to research into neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), in which midbrain dopaminergic neurons degenerate during disease progression but are unobtainable until post-mortem. Here we report a detailed study into the physiological maturation over time of human dopaminergic neurons in vitro. We first generated and differentiated hiPSC lines into midbrain dopaminergic neurons and performed a comprehensive characterisation to confirm dopaminergic functionality by demonstrating dopamine synthesis, release, and re-uptake. The neuronal cultures include cells positive for both tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and G protein-activated inward rectifier potassium channel 2 (Kir3.2, henceforth referred to as GIRK2), representative of the A9 population of substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) neurons vulnerable in PD. We observed for the first time the maturation of the slow autonomous pace-making (<10 Hz) and spontaneous synaptic activity typical of mature SNc dopaminergic neurons using a combination of calcium imaging and electrophysiology. hiPSC-derived neurons exhibited inositol tri-phosphate (IP3) receptor-dependent release of intracellular calcium from the endoplasmic reticulum in neuronal processes as calcium waves propagating from apical and distal dendrites, and in the soma. Finally, neurons were susceptible to the dopamine neuron-specific toxin 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) which reduced mitochondrial membrane potential and altered mitochondrial morphology. Mature hiPSC-derived dopaminergic neurons provide a neurophysiologically-defined model of previously inaccessible vulnerable SNc dopaminergic neurons to bridge the gap between clinical PD and animal models. PMID:24586273

  10. Telencephalic neural precursor cells show transient competence to interpret the dopaminergic niche of the embryonic midbrain.

    PubMed

    Baizabal, José-Manuel; Valencia, Concepción; Guerrero-Flores, Gilda; Covarrubias, Luis

    2011-01-15

    Neural Precursor Cells (NPCs) generate complex stereotypic arrays of neuronal subtypes in the brain. This process involves the integration of patterning cues that progressively restrict the fate of specific NPCs. Yet the capacity of NPCs to interpret foreign microenvironments during development remains poorly defined. The aim of this work was to test the competence of mouse telencephalic NPCs to respond to the dopaminergic niche of the mesencephalon. Telencephalic NPCs isolated from midgestation mouse embryos (E10.5) and transplanted to age-matched mesencephalic explants efficiently differentiated into neurons but were largely unable to produce midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons. Instead, E10.5 telencephalic NPCs behaved as restricted gabaergic progenitors that maintained ectopic expression of Foxg1 and Pax6. In contrast, E8.5 telencephalic NPCs were able to differentiate into Lmx1a(+)/Foxa2(+)/TH(+) neurons in the dopaminergic niche of the mesencephalic explants. In addition, these early telencephalic NPCs showed region-dependent expression of Nkx6.1, Nkx2.2 and site-specific differentiation into gabaergic neurons within the mesencephalic tissue. Significant dopaminergic differentiation of E8.5 telencephalic NPCs was not observed after transplantation to E12.5 mesencephalic explants, suggesting that inductive signals in the dopaminergic niche rapidly decay after midgestation. Moreover, we employed transplantation of embryonic stem cells-derived precursors to demonstrate that extinction of inductive signals within the telencephalon lags behind the commitment of residing NPCs. Our data indicate that the plasticity to interpret multiple instructive niches is an early and ephemeral feature of the telencephalic neural lineage.

  11. Dopaminergic Neurons and Brain Reward Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Sarah X.; Huang, Eric J.

    2017-01-01

    Midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta and ventral tegmental area regulate extrapyramidal movement and important cognitive functions, including motivation, reward associations, and habit learning. Dysfunctions in DA neuron circuitry have been implicated in several neuropsychiatric disorders, including addiction and schizophrenia, whereas selective degeneration of DA neurons in substantia nigra pars compacta is a key neuropathological feature in Parkinson disease. Efforts to understand these disorders have focused on dissecting the underlying causes, as well as developing therapeutic strategies to replenish dopamine deficiency. In particular, the promise of cell replacement therapies for clinical intervention has led to extensive research in the identification of mechanisms involved in DA neuron development. It is hoped that a comprehensive understanding of these mechanisms will lead to therapeutic strategies that improve the efficiency of DA neuron production, engraftment, and function. This review provides a comprehensive discussion on how Wnt/β-catenin and sonic hedgehog–Smoothened signaling mechanisms control the specification and expansion of DA progenitors and the differentiation of DA neurons. We also discuss how mechanisms involving transforming growth factor-β and transcriptional cofactor homeodomain interacting protein kinase 2 regulate the survival and maturation of DA neurons in early postnatal life. These results not only reveal fundamental mechanisms regulating DA neuron development, but also provide important insights to their potential contributions to neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26724386

  12. The embryonic midbrain directs neuronal specification of embryonic stem cells at early stages of differentiation.

    PubMed

    Baizabal, José-Manuel; Covarrubias, Luis

    2009-01-01

    Specific neuronal differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs) depends on their capacity to interpret environmental cues. At present, it is not clear at which stage of differentiation ESCs become competent to produce multiple neuronal lineages in response to the niche of the embryonic brain. To unfold the developmental potential of ESC-derived precursors, we transplanted these cells into the embryonic midbrain explants, where neurogenesis occurs as in normal midbrain development. Using this experimental design, we show that the transition from ESCs to Embryoid Body (EB) precursors is necessary to differentiate into Lmx1a(+)/Ptx3(+)/TH(+) dopaminergic neurons around the ventral midline of the midbrain. In addition, EB cells placed at other dorsal-ventral levels of the midbrain give rise to Nkx6.1(+) red nucleus (RN) neurons, Nkx2.2(+) ventral interneurons and Pax7(+) dorsal neurons at the correct positions. Notably, differentiation of ESCs into Neural Precursor Cells (NPCs) prior to transplantation markedly reduces specification at the Lmx1a, Nkx6.1 and Pax7 expression domains, without affecting neuronal differentiation. Finally, exposure to Fgf8 and Shh in vitro promotes commitment of some ESC-derived NPCs to differentiate into putative Lmx1a(+) dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain. Our data demonstrate intrinsic developmental potential differences among ESC-derived precursor populations.

  13. Neurofeedback-mediated self-regulation of the dopaminergic midbrain.

    PubMed

    Sulzer, James; Sitaram, Ranganatha; Blefari, Maria Laura; Kollias, Spyros; Birbaumer, Niels; Stephan, Klaas Enno; Luft, Andreas; Gassert, Roger

    2013-12-01

    The dopaminergic system is involved in reward encoding and reinforcement learning. Dopaminergic neurons from this system in the substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area complex (SN/VTA) fire in response to unexpected reinforcing cues. The goal of this study was to investigate whether individuals can gain voluntary control of SN/VTA activity, thereby potentially enhancing dopamine release to target brain regions. Neurofeedback and mental imagery were used to self-regulate the SN/VTA. Real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (rtfMRI) provided abstract visual feedback of the SN/VTA activity while the subject imagined rewarding scenes. Skin conductance response (SCR) was recorded as a measure of emotional arousal. To examine the effect of neurofeedback, subjects were assigned to either receiving feedback directly proportional (n=15, veridical feedback) or inversely proportional (n=17, inverted feedback) to SN/VTA activity. Both groups of subjects were able to up-regulate SN/VTA activity initially without feedback. Veridical feedback improved the ability to up-regulate SN/VTA compared to baseline while inverted feedback did not. Additional dopaminergic regions were activated in both groups. The ability to self-regulate SN/VTA was differentially correlated with SCR depending on the group, suggesting an association between emotional arousal and neurofeedback performance. These findings indicate that SN/VTA can be voluntarily activated by imagery and voluntary activation is further enhanced by neurofeedback. The findings may lead the way towards a non-invasive strategy for endogenous control of dopamine.

  14. Influence of oxygen tension on dopaminergic differentiation of human fetal stem cells of midbrain and forebrain origin.

    PubMed

    Krabbe, Christina; Bak, Sara Thornby; Jensen, Pia; von Linstow, Christian; Martínez Serrano, Alberto; Hansen, Claus; Meyer, Morten

    2014-01-01

    Neural stem cells (NSCs) constitute a promising source of cells for transplantation in Parkinson's disease (PD), but protocols for controlled dopaminergic differentiation are not yet available. Here we investigated the influence of oxygen on dopaminergic differentiation of human fetal NSCs derived from the midbrain and forebrain. Cells were differentiated for 10 days in vitro at low, physiological (3%) versus high, atmospheric (20%) oxygen tension. Low oxygen resulted in upregulation of vascular endothelial growth factor and increased the proportion of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive (TH-ir) cells in both types of cultures (midbrain: 9.1 ± 0.5 and 17.1 ± 0.4 (P<0.001); forebrain: 1.9 ± 0.4 and 3.9 ± 0.6 (P<0.01) percent of total cells). Regardless of oxygen levels, the content of TH-ir cells with mature neuronal morphologies was higher for midbrain as compared to forebrain cultures. Proliferative Ki67-ir cells were found in both types of cultures, but the relative proportion of these cells was significantly higher for forebrain NSCs cultured at low, as compared to high, oxygen tension. No such difference was detected for midbrain-derived cells. Western blot analysis revealed that low oxygen enhanced β-tubulin III and GFAP expression in both cultures. Up-regulation of β-tubulin III was most pronounced for midbrain cells, whereas GFAP expression was higher in forebrain as compared to midbrain cells. NSCs from both brain regions displayed less cell death when cultured at low oxygen tension. Following mictrotransplantation into mouse striatal slice cultures predifferentiated midbrain NSCs were found to proliferate and differentiate into substantial numbers of TH-ir neurons with mature neuronal morphologies, particularly at low oxygen. In contrast, predifferentiated forebrain NSCs microtransplanted using identical conditions displayed little proliferation and contained few TH-ir cells, all of which had an immature appearance. Our data may reflect differences

  15. Vulnerability of Mesostriatal Dopaminergic Neurons in Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    González-Hernández, Tomás; Cruz-Muros, Ignacio; Afonso-Oramas, Domingo; Salas-Hernandez, Josmar; Castro-Hernandez, Javier

    2010-01-01

    The term vulnerability was first associated with the midbrain dopaminergic neurons 85 years ago, before they were identified as monoaminergic neurons, when Foix and Nicolesco (1925) reported the loss of neuromelanin containing neurons in the midbrain of patients with post-encephalitic Parkinson's disease (PD). A few years later, Hassler (1938) showed that degeneration is more intense in the ventral tier of the substantia nigra compacta than in its dorsal tier and the ventral tegmental area (VTA), outlining the concept of differential vulnerability of midbrain dopaminergic (DA-) neurons. Nowadays, we know that other neuronal groups degenerate in PD, but the massive loss of nigral DA-cells is its pathological hallmark, having a pivotal position in the pathophysiology of the disease as it is responsible for the motor symptoms. Data from humans as well as cellular and animal models indicate that DA-cell degeneration is a complex process, probably precipitated by the convergence of different risk factors, mediated by oxidative stress, and involving pathogenic factors arising within the DA-neuron (intrinsic factors), and from its environment and distant interconnected brain regions (extrinsic factors). In light of current data, intrinsic factors seem to be preferentially involved in the first steps of the degenerative process, and extrinsic factors in its progression. A controversial issue is the relative weight of the impairment of common cell functions, such as energy metabolism and proteostasis, and specific dopaminergic functions, such as pacemaking activity and DA handling, in the pathogenesis of DA-cell degeneration. Here we will review the current knowledge about the relevance of these factors at the beginning and during the progression of PD, and in the differential vulnerability of midbrain DA-cells. PMID:21079748

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Dopaminergic regulation of orexin neurons.

    PubMed

    Bubser, Michael; Fadel, Jim R; Jackson, Lela L; Meador-Woodruff, James H; Jing, Deqiang; Deutch, Ariel Y

    2005-06-01

    Orexin/hypocretin neurons in the lateral hypothalamus and adjacent perifornical area (LH/PFA) innervate midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons that project to corticolimbic sites and subserve psychostimulant-induced locomotor activity. However, it is not known whether dopamine neurons in turn regulate the activity of orexin cells. We examined the ability of dopamine agonists to activate orexin neurons in the rat, as reflected by induction of Fos. The mixed dopamine agonist apomorphine increased Fos expression in orexin cells, with a greater effect on orexin neurons located medial to the fornix. Both the selective D1-like agonist, A-77636, and the D2-like agonist, quinpirole, also induced Fos in orexin cells, suggesting that stimulation of either receptor subtype is sufficient to activate orexin neurons. Consistent with this finding, combined SCH 23390 (D1 antagonist)-haloperidol (D2 antagonist) pretreatment blocked apomorphine-induced activation of medial as well as lateral orexin neurons; in contrast, pretreatment with either the D1-like or D2-like antagonists alone did not attenuate apomorphine-induced activation of medial orexin cells. In situ hybridization histochemistry revealed that LH/PFA cells rarely express mRNAs encoding dopamine receptors, suggesting that orexin cells are transsynaptically activated by apomorphine. We therefore lesioned the nucleus accumbens, a site known to regulate orexin cells, but this treatment did not alter apomorphine-elicited activation of medial or lateral orexin neurons. Interestingly, apomorphine failed to activate orexin cells in isoflurane-anaesthetized animals. These data suggest that apomorphine-induced arousal but not accumbens-mediated hyperactivity is required for dopamine to transsynaptically activate orexin neurons.

  18. 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

  19. The lifelong maintenance of mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons by Nurr1 and engrailed

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Specific vulnerability and degeneration of the dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta of the midbrain is the pathological hallmark of Parkinson’s disease. A number of transcription factors regulate the birth and development of this set of neurons and some remain constitutively expressed throughout life. These maintenance transcription factors are closely associated with essential neurophysiological functions and are required ultimately for the long-term survival of the midbrain dopaminergic neurons. The current review describes the role of two such factors, Nurr1 and engrailed, in differentiation, maturation, and in normal physiological functions including acquisition of neurotransmitter identity. The review will also elucidate the relationship of these factors with life, vulnerability, degeneration and death of mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons in the context of Parkinson’s disease. PMID:24685177

  20. Reduced noradrenergic innervation of ventral midbrain dopaminergic cell groups and the subthalamic nucleus in MPTP-treated parkinsonian monkeys.

    PubMed

    Masilamoni, Gunasingh Jeyaraj; Groover, Olivia; Smith, Yoland

    2017-04-01

    There is anatomical and functional evidence that ventral midbrain dopaminergic (DA) cell groups and the subthalamic nucleus (STN) receive noradrenergic innervation in rodents, but much less is known about these interactions in primates. Degeneration of NE neurons in the locus coeruleus (LC) and related brainstem NE cell groups is a well-established pathological feature of Parkinson's disease (PD), but the development of such pathology in animal models of PD has been inconsistent across species and laboratories. We recently demonstrated 30-40% neuronal loss in the LC, A5 and A6 NE cell groups of rhesus monkeys rendered parkinsonian by chronic administration of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). In this study, we used dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DβH) immunocytochemistry to assess the impact of this neuronal loss on the number of NE terminal-like varicosities in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC), ventral tegmental area (VTA), retrorubral field (RRF) and STN of MPTP-treated parkinsonian monkeys. Our findings reveal that the NE innervation of the ventral midbrain and STN of normal monkeys is heterogeneously distributed being far more extensive in the VTA, RRF and dorsal tier of the SNC than in the ventral SNC and STN. In parkinsonian monkeys, all regions underwent a significant (~50-70%) decrease in NE innervation. At the electron microscopic level, some DβH-positive terminals formed asymmetric axo-dendritic synapses in VTA and STN. These findings demonstrate that the VTA, RRF and SNCd are the main ventral midbrain targets of ascending NE inputs, and that these connections undergo a major break-down in chronically MPTP-treated parkinsonian monkeys. This severe degeneration of the ascending NE system may contribute to the pathophysiology of ventral midbrain and STN neurons in PD.

  1. 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.

  2. Enduring, Sexually Dimorphic Impact of In Utero Exposure to Elevated Levels of Glucocorticoids on Midbrain Dopaminergic Populations

    PubMed Central

    Gillies, Glenda E.; Virdee, Kanwar; Pienaar, Ilse; Al-Zaid, Felwah; Dalley, Jeffrey W.

    2016-01-01

    Glucocorticoid hormones (GCs) released from the fetal/maternal glands during late gestation are required for normal development of mammalian organs and tissues. Accordingly, synthetic glucocorticoids have proven to be invaluable in perinatal medicine where they are widely used to accelerate fetal lung maturation when there is risk of pre-term birth and to promote infant survival. However, clinical and pre-clinical studies have demonstrated that inappropriate exposure of the developing brain to elevated levels of GCs, either as a result of clinical over-use or after stress-induced activation of the fetal/maternal adrenal cortex, is linked with significant effects on brain structure, neurological function and behaviour in later life. In order to understand the underlying neural processes, particular interest has focused on the midbrain dopaminergic systems, which are critical regulators of normal adaptive behaviours, cognitive and sensorimotor functions. Specifically, using a rodent model of GC exposure in late gestation (approximating human brain development at late second/early third trimester), we demonstrated enduring effects on the shape and volume of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) (origins of the mesocorticolimbic and nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathways) on the topographical organisation and size of the dopaminergic neuronal populations and astrocytes within these nuclei and on target innervation density and neurochemical markers of dopaminergic transmission (receptors, transporters, basal and amphetamine-stimulated dopamine release at striatal and prefrontal cortical sites) that impact on the adult brain. The effects of antenatal GC treatment (AGT) were both profound and sexually-dimorphic, not only in terms of quantitative change but also qualitatively, with several parameters affected in the opposite direction in males and females. Although such substantial neurobiological changes might presage marked behavioural

  3. Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Dopaminergic Neurons during Development in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Du, Yuchen; Guo, Qiang; Shan, Minghui; Wu, Yongmei; Huang, Sizhou; Zhao, Haixia; Hong, Huarong; Yang, Ming; Yang, Xi; Ren, Liyi; Peng, Jiali; Sun, Jing; Zhou, Hongli; Li, Shurong; Su, Bingyin

    2016-01-01

    As one of the model organisms of Parkinson's disease (PD) research, the zebrafish has its advantages, such as the 87% homology with human genome and transparent embryos which make it possible to observe the development of dopaminergic neurons in real time. However, there is no midbrain dopaminergic system in zebrafish when compared with mammals, and the location and projection of the dopaminergic neurons are seldom reported. In this study, Vmat2:GFP transgenic zebrafish was used to observe the development and distribution of dopaminergic neurons in real time. We found that diencephalons (DC) 2 and DC4 neuronal populations were detected at 24 h post fertilization (hpf). All DC neuronal populations as well as those in locus coeruleus (LC), raphe nuclei (Ra) and telencephalon were detected at 48 hpf. Axons were detected at 72 hpf. At 96 hpf, all the neuronal populations were detected. For the first time we reported axons from the posterior tubercle (PT) of ventral DC projected to subpallium in vivo. However, when compared with results from whole mount tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunofluorescence staining in wild type (WT) zebrafish, we found that DC2 and DC4 neuronal populations were mainly dopaminergic, while DC1, DC3, DC5 and DC6 might not. Neurons in pretectum (Pr) and telencephalon were mainly dopaminergic, while neurons in LC and Ra might be noradrenergic. Our study makes some corrections and modifications on the development, localization and distribution of zebrafish dopaminergic neurons, and provides some experimental evidences for the construction of the zebrafish PD model.

  4. Gene regulatory logic of dopaminergic neuron differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Flames, Nuria; Hobert, Oliver

    2009-01-01

    Dopamine signaling regulates a variety of complex behaviors and defects in dopaminergic neuron function or survival result in severe human pathologies, such as Parkinson's disease 1. The common denominator of all dopaminergic neurons is the expression of dopamine pathway genes, which code for a set of phylogenetically conserved proteins involved in dopamine synthesis and transport. Gene regulatory mechanisms that result in the activation of dopamine pathway genes and thereby ultimately determine the identity of dopaminergic neurons are poorly understood in any system studied to date 2. We show here that a simple cis-regulatory element, the DA motif, controls the expression of all dopamine pathway genes in all dopaminergic cell types in C. elegans. The DA motif is activated by the ETS transcription factor, AST-1. Loss of ast-1 results in the failure of all distinct dopaminergic neuronal subtypes to terminally differentiate. Ectopic expression of ast-1 is sufficient to activate the dopamine production pathway in some cellular contexts. Vertebrate dopaminergic pathway genes also contain phylogenetically conserved DA motifs that can be activated by the mouse ETS transcription factor Etv1/ER81 and a specific class of dopaminergic neurons fails to differentiate in mice lacking Etv1/ER81. Moreover, ectopic Etv1/ER81 expression induces dopaminergic fate marker expression in neuronal primary cultures. Mouse Etv1/ER81 can also functionally substitute for ast-1 in C.elegans. Our studies reveal an astoundingly simple and apparently conserved regulatory logic of dopaminergic neuron terminal differentiation and may provide new entry points into the diagnosis or therapy of conditions in which dopamine neurons are defective. PMID:19287374

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. [Impact of opiates on dopaminergic neurons].

    PubMed

    Kaufling, Jennifer; Freund-Mercier, Marie-José; Barrot, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Since the work of Johnson and North, it is known that opiates increase the activity of dopaminergic neurons by a GABA neuron-mediated desinhibition. This model should however be updated based on recent advances. Thus, the neuroanatomical location of the GABA neurons responsible for this desinhibition has been recently detailed: they belong to a brain structure in continuity with the posterior part of the ventral tegmental area and discovered this past decade. Other data also highlighted the critical role played by glutamatergic transmission in the opioid regulation of dopaminergic neuron activity. During protracted opiate withdrawal, the inhibitory/excitatory balance exerted on dopaminergic neurons is altered. These results are now leading to propose an original hypothesis for explaining the impact of protracted opiate withdrawal on mood.

  8. On the properties of identified dopaminergic neurons in the mouse substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Krashia, Paraskevi; Martini, Alessandro; Nobili, Annalisa; Aversa, Daniela; D'Amelio, Marcello; Berretta, Nicola; Guatteo, Ezia; Mercuri, Nicola Biagio

    2017-01-01

    We studied the properties of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) in mice expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) under the control of the tyrosine hydroxylase promoter (TH-GFP). By using a practical map of cell positioning in distinct SNpc and VTA subregions in horizontal midbrain slices we saw that the spontaneous firing, membrane properties, cell body size and magnitude of the hyperpolarization-activated current (Ih ) in TH-GFP-positive neurons (TH-GFP(+) ) vary significantly among subregions, following a mediolateral gradient. Block of Ih with Zd7288 inhibited firing in the most lateral subregions, but had little effect in the intermediate/medial VTA. In addition, TH-GFP(+) cells were excited by Met(5) -Enkephalin. Extracellular recordings from a large neuron number showed that all TH-GFP(+) cells were inhibited by dopamine, suggesting that this is a reliable approach for identifying dopaminergic neurons in vitro. Simultaneous recordings from dopamine-sensitive and dopamine-insensitive neurons showed that dopamine-insensitive cells (putative non-dopaminergic neurons) are unaffected by Zd7288 but inhibited by Met(5) -Enkephalin. Under patch-clamp, dopamine generated a quantitatively similar outward current in most TH-GFP(+) neurons, although medial VTA cells showed reduced dopamine sensitivity. Pargyline prolonged the dopamine current, whereas cocaine enhanced dopamine-mediated responses in both the SNpc and the VTA. Our work provides new insights into the variability in mouse midbrain dopaminergic neurons along the medial-lateral axis and points to the necessity of a combination of different electrophysiological and pharmacological approaches for reliably identifying these cells to distinguish them from non-dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain.

  9. Antenatal Glucocorticoid Treatment Induces Adaptations in Adult Midbrain Dopamine Neurons, which Underpin Sexually Dimorphic Behavioral Resilience

    PubMed Central

    Virdee, Kanwar; McArthur, Simon; Brischoux, Frédéric; Caprioli, Daniele; Ungless, Mark A; Robbins, Trevor W; Dalley, Jeffrey W; Gillies, Glenda E

    2014-01-01

    We demonstrated previously that antenatal glucocorticoid treatment (AGT, gestational days 16–19) altered the size and organization of the adult rat midbrain dopaminergic (DA) populations. Here we investigated the consequences of these AGT-induced cytoarchitectural disturbances on indices of DA function in adult rats. We show that in adulthood, enrichment of striatal DA fiber density paralleled AGT-induced increases in the numbers of midbrain DA neurons, which retained normal basal electrophysiological properties. This was co-incident with changes in (i) striatal D2-type receptor levels (increased, both sexes); (ii) D1-type receptor levels (males decreased; females increased); (iii) DA transporter levels (males increased; females decreased) in striatal regions; and (iv) amphetamine-induced mesolimbic DA release (males increased; females decreased). However, despite these profound, sexually dimorphic changes in markers of DA neurotransmission, in-utero glucocorticoid overexposure had a modest or no effect on a range of conditioned and unconditioned appetitive behaviors known to depend on mesolimbic DA activity. These findings provide empirical evidence for enduring AGT-induced adaptive mechanisms within the midbrain DA circuitry, which preserve some, but not all, functions, thereby casting further light on the vulnerability of these systems to environmental perturbations. Furthermore, they demonstrate these effects are achieved by different, often opponent, adaptive mechanisms in males and females, with translational implications for sex biases commonly found in midbrain DA-associated disorders. PMID:23929547

  10. Isolation, culture and long-term maintenance of primary mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons from embryonic rodent brains.

    PubMed

    Weinert, Maria; Selvakumar, Tharakeswari; Tierney, Travis S; Alavian, Kambiz N

    2015-02-19

    Degeneration of mesencephalic dopaminergic (mesDA) neurons is the pathological hallmark of Parkinson's diseae. Study of the biological processes involved in physiological functions and vulnerability and death of these neurons is imparative to understanding the underlying causes and unraveling the cure for this common neurodegenerative disorder. Primary cultures of mesDA neurons provide a tool for investigation of the molecular, biochemical and electrophysiological properties, in order to understand the development, long-term survival and degeneration of these neurons during the course of disease. Here we present a detailed method for the isolation, culturing and maintenance of midbrain dopaminergic neurons from E12.5 mouse (or E14.5 rat) embryos. Optimized cell culture conditions in this protocol result in presence of axonal and dendritic projections, synaptic connections and other neuronal morphological properties, which make the cultures suitable for study of the physiological, cell biological and molecular characteristics of this neuronal population.

  11. Wnt5a regulates ventral midbrain morphogenesis and the development of A9-A10 dopaminergic cells in vivo.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Emma R; Prakash, Nilima; Cajanek, Lukas; Minina, Eleonora; Bryja, Vitezslav; Bryjova, Lenka; Yamaguchi, Terry P; Hall, Anita C; Wurst, Wolfgang; Arenas, Ernest

    2008-01-01

    Wnt5a is a morphogen that activates the Wnt/planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway and serves multiple functions during development. PCP signaling controls the orientation of cells within an epithelial plane as well as convergent extension (CE) movements. Wnt5a was previously reported to promote differentiation of A9-10 dopaminergic (DA) precursors in vitro. However, the signaling mechanism in DA cells and the function of Wnt5a during midbrain development in vivo remains unclear. We hereby report that Wnt5a activated the GTPase Rac1 in DA cells and that Rac1 inhibitors blocked the Wnt5a-induced DA neuron differentiation of ventral midbrain (VM) precursor cultures, linking Wnt5a-induced differentiation with a known effector of Wnt/PCP signaling. In vivo, Wnt5a was expressed throughout the VM at embryonic day (E)9.5, and was restricted to the VM floor and basal plate by E11.5-E13.5. Analysis of Wnt5a-/- mice revealed a transient increase in progenitor proliferation at E11.5, and a precociously induced NR4A2+ (Nurr1) precursor pool at E12.5. The excess NR4A2+ precursors remained undifferentiated until E14.5, when a transient 25% increase in DA neurons was detected. Wnt5a-/- mice also displayed a defect in (mid)brain morphogenesis, including an impairment in midbrain elongation and a rounded ventricular cavity. Interestingly, these alterations affected mostly cells in the DA lineage. The ventral Sonic hedgehog-expressing domain was broadened and flattened, a typical CE phenotype, and the domains occupied by Ngn2+ DA progenitors, NR4A2+ DA precursors and TH+ DA neurons were rostrocaudally reduced and laterally expanded. In summary, we hereby describe a Wnt5a regulation of Wnt/PCP signaling in the DA lineage and provide evidence for multiple functions of Wnt5a in the VM in vivo, including the regulation of VM morphogenesis, DA progenitor cell division, and differentiation of NR4A2+ DA precursors.

  12. Different mechanisms for dopaminergic excitation induced by opiates and cannabinoids in the rat midbrain.

    PubMed

    Melis, M; Gessa, G L; Diana, M

    2000-08-01

    1. The mechanism underlying morphine and cannabinoid-induced excitation of meso-accumbens and nigro-striatal dopaminergic neurons was investigated by extracellular single unit recording techniques coupled with antidromic activation from the nucleus accumbens and striatum respectively, in unanesthetized rats. 2. The intravenous administration of cumulative doses (1-4 mg/kg) of morphine, dose-dependently increased the firing rate of dopaminergic neurons projecting to the nucleus accumbens and neostriatum, while the same doses inhibited the activity of pars reticulata neurons of the substantia nigra. Both effects were antagonized by naloxone (0.1 mg/kg i.v.) but not by the selective CB1 receptor antagonist SR 141716A (1 mg/kg i.v.). 3. The intravenous administration of cumulative doses (0.125-0.5 mg/kg) of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta9-THC) also increased the firing rate of meso-accumbens and nigro-striatal dopaminergic neurons; this effect was antagonized by SR 141716A (1 mg/kg i.v.), but not by naloxone. 4. Furthermore, nor delta9-THC up to a dose of 1 mg/kg, maximally effective in stimulating dopamine neurons, neither SR 141716A (1 mg/kg i.v.) at a dose able to reverse the stimulatory effect of delta9, THC on dopamine cells, did alter the activity of SNr neurons. 5. The results indicate that morphine and delta9-THC activate dopaminergic neurons through distinct receptor-mediated mechanisms; morphine may act by removing the inhibitory input from substantia nigra pars reticulata neurons (an effect mediated by mu-opioid receptors). Alternatively, the delta9-THC-induced excitation of dopaminergic neurons seems to be mediated by CB1 cannabinoid receptors, while neither mu-opioid receptors nor substantia nigra pars reticulata neurons are involved.

  13. 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

  14. White noise improves learning by modulating activity in dopaminergic midbrain regions and right superior temporal sulcus.

    PubMed

    Rausch, Vanessa H; Bauch, Eva M; Bunzeck, Nico

    2014-07-01

    In neural systems, information processing can be facilitated by adding an optimal level of white noise. Although this phenomenon, the so-called stochastic resonance, has traditionally been linked with perception, recent evidence indicates that white noise may also exert positive effects on cognitive functions, such as learning and memory. The underlying neural mechanisms, however, remain unclear. Here, on the basis of recent theories, we tested the hypothesis that auditory white noise, when presented during the encoding of scene images, enhances subsequent recognition memory performance and modulates activity within the dopaminergic midbrain (i.e., substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area, SN/VTA). Indeed, in a behavioral experiment, we can show in healthy humans that auditory white noise-but not control sounds, such as a sinus tone-slightly improves recognition memory. In an fMRI experiment, white noise selectively enhances stimulus-driven phasic activity in the SN/VTA and auditory cortex. Moreover, it induces stronger connectivity between SN/VTA and right STS, which, in addition, exhibited a positive correlation with subsequent memory improvement by white noise. Our results suggest that the beneficial effects of auditory white noise on learning depend on dopaminergic neuromodulation and enhanced connectivity between midbrain regions and the STS-a key player in attention modulation. Moreover, they indicate that white noise could be particularly useful to facilitate learning in conditions where changes of the mesolimbic system are causally related to memory deficits including healthy and pathological aging.

  15. Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Dopaminergic Neurons during Development in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Du, Yuchen; Guo, Qiang; Shan, Minghui; Wu, Yongmei; Huang, Sizhou; Zhao, Haixia; Hong, Huarong; Yang, Ming; Yang, Xi; Ren, Liyi; Peng, Jiali; Sun, Jing; Zhou, Hongli; Li, Shurong; Su, Bingyin

    2016-01-01

    As one of the model organisms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) research, the zebrafish has its advantages, such as the 87% homology with human genome and transparent embryos which make it possible to observe the development of dopaminergic neurons in real time. However, there is no midbrain dopaminergic system in zebrafish when compared with mammals, and the location and projection of the dopaminergic neurons are seldom reported. In this study, Vmat2:GFP transgenic zebrafish was used to observe the development and distribution of dopaminergic neurons in real time. We found that diencephalons (DC) 2 and DC4 neuronal populations were detected at 24 h post fertilization (hpf). All DC neuronal populations as well as those in locus coeruleus (LC), raphe nuclei (Ra) and telencephalon were detected at 48 hpf. Axons were detected at 72 hpf. At 96 hpf, all the neuronal populations were detected. For the first time we reported axons from the posterior tubercle (PT) of ventral DC projected to subpallium in vivo. However, when compared with results from whole mount tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunofluorescence staining in wild type (WT) zebrafish, we found that DC2 and DC4 neuronal populations were mainly dopaminergic, while DC1, DC3, DC5 and DC6 might not. Neurons in pretectum (Pr) and telencephalon were mainly dopaminergic, while neurons in LC and Ra might be noradrenergic. Our study makes some corrections and modifications on the development, localization and distribution of zebrafish dopaminergic neurons, and provides some experimental evidences for the construction of the zebrafish PD model. PMID:27965546

  16. Histofluorescence studies on the effect of 1,3-dimethyl-5-adamantanamine (D-145) on serotonin neurons in midbrain raphe nuclei.

    PubMed

    Smialowska, M

    1976-01-01

    1,3-Dimethyl-5-adamantanamine (D-145), a dopamine system stimulating agent, given at doses of 10-40 mg/kg ip, 2-5 hr before sacrifice, depressed the intensity of serotonin fluorescence in the rat midbrain raphe nuclei. Spiroperidol, 2 mg/kg ip, given 5 min before D-145, prevented the depression of serotonin fluorescence in the dorsal raphe nucleus (NDR), but not in the other groups of serotonin midbrain neurons. The results suggest a functional interaction between dopaminergic neurons and serotoninergic neurons in NDR.

  17. Cell-autonomous FGF signaling regulates anteroposterior patterning and neuronal differentiation in the mesodiencephalic dopaminergic progenitor domain.

    PubMed

    Lahti, Laura; Peltopuro, Paula; Piepponen, T Petteri; Partanen, Juha

    2012-03-01

    The structure and projection patterns of adult mesodiencephalic dopaminergic (DA) neurons are one of the best characterized systems in the vertebrate brain. However, the early organization and development of these nuclei remain poorly understood. The induction of midbrain DA neurons requires sonic hedgehog (Shh) from the floor plate and fibroblast growth factor 8 (FGF8) from the isthmic organizer, but the way in which FGF8 regulates DA neuron development is unclear. We show that, during early embryogenesis, mesodiencephalic neurons consist of two distinct populations: a diencephalic domain, which is probably independent of isthmic FGFs; and a midbrain domain, which is dependent on FGFs. Within these domains, DA progenitors and precursors use partly different genetic programs. Furthermore, the diencephalic DA domain forms a distinct cell population, which also contains non-DA Pou4f1(+) cells. FGF signaling operates in proliferative midbrain DA progenitors, but is absent in postmitotic DA precursors. The loss of FGFR1/2-mediated signaling results in a maturation failure of the midbrain DA neurons and altered patterning of the midbrain floor. In FGFR mutants, the DA domain adopts characteristics that are typical for embryonic diencephalon, including the presence of Pou4f1(+) cells among TH(+) cells, and downregulation of genes typical of midbrain DA precursors. Finally, analyses of chimeric embryos indicate that FGF signaling regulates the development of the ventral midbrain cell autonomously.

  18. Ebf2 is required for development of dopamine neurons in the midbrain periaqueductal gray matter of mouse.

    PubMed

    Yang, Qiaoqiao; Liu, Shuxi; Yin, Min; Yin, Yanqing; Zhou, Guomin; Zhou, Jiawei

    2015-11-01

    Dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the midbrain ventral periaqueductal gray matter (PAG) play critical roles in various physiological and pathophysiological processes including sleep-wake rhyme, antinociception, and drug addiction. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying their development are poorly understood. Here, we showed that PAG DA neurons arose as early as E15.5 in mouse embryos. During the prenatal period, the majority of PAG DA neurons was distributed in the intermediate and caudal regions of the PAG. In the postnatal brain, ∼50% of PAG DA neurons were preferentially located in the caudal portion of the PAG. Moreover, transcription factor early B-cell factor 2 (Ebf2) was transiently expressed in a subset of DA neurons in embryonic ventral mesencephalon. Functional analysis revealed that loss of Ebf2 in vivo caused a marked reduction in the number of DA neurons in the midbrain PAG but not in the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area. Thus, Ebf2 is identified as a novel and important regulator selectively required for midbrain PAG DA neuron development.

  19. Necrostatin-1 protection of dopaminergic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jing-ru; Wang, Jie; Zhou, Sheng-kui; Yang, Long; Yin, Jia-le; Cao, Jun-ping; Cheng, Yan-bo

    2015-01-01

    Necroptosis is characterized by programmed necrotic cell death and autophagic activation and might be involved in the death process of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease. We hypothesized that necrostatin-1 could block necroptosis and give protection to dopaminergic neurons. There is likely to be crosstalk between necroptosis and other cell death pathways, such as apoptosis and autophagy. PC12 cells were pretreated with necroststin-1 1 hour before exposure to 6-hydroxydopamine. We examined cell viability, mitochondrial membrane potential and expression patterns of apoptotic and necroptotic death signaling proteins. The results showed that the autophagy/lysosomal pathway is involved in the 6-hydroxydopamine-induced death process of PC12 cells. Mitochondrial disability induced overactive autophagy, increased cathepsin B expression, and diminished Bcl-2 expression. Necrostatin-1 within a certain concentration range (5–30 μM) elevated the viability of PC12 cells, stabilized mitochondrial membrane potential, inhibited excessive autophagy, reduced the expression of LC3-II and cathepsin B, and increased Bcl-2 expression. These findings suggest that necrostatin-1 exerted a protective effect against injury on dopaminergic neurons. Necrostatin-1 interacts with the apoptosis signaling pathway during this process. This pathway could be a new neuroprotective and therapeutic target in Parkinson's disease. PMID:26330837

  20. Necrostatin-1 protection of dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jing-Ru; Wang, Jie; Zhou, Sheng-Kui; Yang, Long; Yin, Jia-le; Cao, Jun-Ping; Cheng, Yan-Bo

    2015-07-01

    Necroptosis is characterized by programmed necrotic cell death and autophagic activation and might be involved in the death process of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease. We hypothesized that necrostatin-1 could block necroptosis and give protection to dopaminergic neurons. There is likely to be crosstalk between necroptosis and other cell death pathways, such as apoptosis and autophagy. PC12 cells were pretreated with necroststin-1 1 hour before exposure to 6-hydroxydopamine. We examined cell viability, mitochondrial membrane potential and expression patterns of apoptotic and necroptotic death signaling proteins. The results showed that the autophagy/lysosomal pathway is involved in the 6-hydroxydopamine-induced death process of PC12 cells. Mitochondrial disability induced overactive autophagy, increased cathepsin B expression, and diminished Bcl-2 expression. Necrostatin-1 within a certain concentration range (5-30 μM) elevated the viability of PC12 cells, stabilized mitochondrial membrane potential, inhibited excessive autophagy, reduced the expression of LC3-II and cathepsin B, and increased Bcl-2 expression. These findings suggest that necrostatin-1 exerted a protective effect against injury on dopaminergic neurons. Necrostatin-1 interacts with the apoptosis signaling pathway during this process. This pathway could be a new neuroprotective and therapeutic target in Parkinson's disease.

  1. Brief Dopaminergic Stimulations Produce Transient Physiological Changes in Prefrontal Pyramidal Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Anna R.; Zhou, Wen-Liang; Potapenko, Evgeniy S.; Kim, Eun-Ji; Antic, Srdjan D.

    2010-01-01

    In response to food reward and other pertinent events, midbrain dopaminergic neurons fire short bursts of action potentials causing a phasic release of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex (rapid and transient increases in cortical dopamine concentration). Here we apply short (2 sec) iontophoretic pulses of glutamate, GABA, dopamine and dopaminergic agonists locally, onto layer 5 pyramidal neurons in brain slices of the rat medial prefrontal cortex (PFC). Unlike glutamate and GABA, brief dopaminergic pulses had negligible effects on the resting membrane potential. However, dopamine altered action potential firing in an extremely rapid (<1s) and transient (<5min) manner, as every neuron returned to baseline in less than 5-min post-application. The physiological responses to dopamine differed markedly among individual neurons. Pyramidal neurons with a preponderance of D1-like receptor signaling respond to dopamine with a severe depression in action potential firing rate, while pyramidal neurons dominated by the D2 signaling pathway respond to dopamine with an instantaneous increase in spike production. Increasing levels of dopamine concentrations around the cell body resulted in a dose dependent response, which resembles an “inverted U curve” (Vijayraghavan et al., 2007), but this effect can easily be caused by an iontophoresis current artifact. Our present data imply that one population of PFC pyramidal neurons receiving direct synaptic contacts from midbrain dopaminergic neurons would stall during the 0.5 sec of the phasic dopamine burst. The spillover dopamine, on the other hand, would act as a positive stimulator of cortical excitability (30% increase) to all D2-receptor carrying pyramidal cells, for the next 40 seconds. PMID:21059342

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Parkin protects dopaminergic neurons from excessive Wnt/beta-catenin signaling.

    PubMed

    Rawal, Nina; Corti, Olga; Sacchetti, Paola; Ardilla-Osorio, Hector; Sehat, Bita; Brice, Alexis; Arenas, Ernest

    2009-10-23

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is caused by degeneration of the dopaminergic (DA) neurons of the substantia nigra but the molecular mechanisms underlying the degenerative process remain elusive. Several reports suggest that cell cycle deregulation in post-mitotic neurons could lead to neuronal cell death. We now show that Parkin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase linked to familial PD, regulates beta-catenin protein levels in vivo. Stabilization of beta-catenin in differentiated primary ventral midbrain neurons results in increased levels of cyclin E and proliferation, followed by increased levels of cleaved PARP and loss of DA neurons. Wnt3a signaling also causes death of post-mitotic DA neurons in parkin null animals, suggesting that both increased stabilization and decreased degradation of beta-catenin results in DA cell death. These findings demonstrate a novel regulation of Wnt signaling by Parkin and suggest that Parkin protects DA neurons against excessive Wnt signaling and beta-catenin-induced cell death.

  5. Parkin protects dopaminergic neurons from excessive Wnt/{beta}-catenin signaling

    SciTech Connect

    Rawal, Nina; Corti, Olga; Sacchetti, Paola; Ardilla-Osorio, Hector; Sehat, Bita; Brice, Alexis; Arenas, Ernest

    2009-10-23

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is caused by degeneration of the dopaminergic (DA) neurons of the substantia nigra but the molecular mechanisms underlying the degenerative process remain elusive. Several reports suggest that cell cycle deregulation in post-mitotic neurons could lead to neuronal cell death. We now show that Parkin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase linked to familial PD, regulates {beta}-catenin protein levels in vivo. Stabilization of {beta}-catenin in differentiated primary ventral midbrain neurons results in increased levels of cyclin E and proliferation, followed by increased levels of cleaved PARP and loss of DA neurons. Wnt3a signaling also causes death of post-mitotic DA neurons in parkin null animals, suggesting that both increased stabilization and decreased degradation of {beta}-catenin results in DA cell death. These findings demonstrate a novel regulation of Wnt signaling by Parkin and suggest that Parkin protects DA neurons against excessive Wnt signaling and {beta}-catenin-induced cell death.

  6. Integrin α5β1 expression on dopaminergic neurons is involved in dopaminergic neurite outgrowth on striatal neurons

    PubMed Central

    Izumi, Yasuhiko; Wakita, Seiko; Kanbara, Chisato; Nakai, Toshie; Akaike, Akinori; Kume, Toshiaki

    2017-01-01

    During development, dopaminergic neurons born in the substantia nigra extend their axons toward the striatum. However, the mechanisms by which the dopaminergic axons extend the striatum to innervate their targets remain unclear. We previously showed that paired-cultivation of mesencephalic cells containing dopaminergic neurons with striatal cells leads to the extension of dopaminergic neurites from the mesencephalic cell region to the striatal cell region. The present study shows that dopaminergic neurites extended along striatal neurons in the paired-cultures of mesencephalic cells with striatal cells. The extension of dopaminergic neurites was suppressed by the pharmacological inhibition of integrin α5β1. Using lentiviral vectors, short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated knockdown of integrin α5 in dopaminergic neurons suppressed the neurite outgrowth to the striatal cell region. In contrast, the knockdown of integrin α5 in non-dopaminergic mesencephalic and striatal cells had no effect. Furthermore, overexpression of integrin α5 in dopaminergic neurons differentiated from embryonic stem cells enhanced their neurite outgrowth on striatal cells. These results indicate that integrin α5β1 expression on dopaminergic neurons plays an important role in the dopaminergic neurite outgrowth on striatal neurons. PMID:28176845

  7. Prostaglandin receptor EP2 protects dopaminergic neurons against 6-OHDA-mediated low oxidative stress

    PubMed Central

    Carrasco, Emilce; Werner, Peter; Casper, Diana

    2008-01-01

    Dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) selectively die in Parkinson’s disease (PD), but it is unclear how and why this occurs. Recent findings implicate prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and two of its four receptors, namely EP1 and EP2, as mediators of degenerative and protective events in situations of acute and chronic neuronal death. EP1 activation can exacerbate excitotoxic damage in stroke models and our recent study showed that EP1 activation may explain the selective sensitivity of dopaminergic neurons to oxidative stress. Conversely, EP2 activation may be neuroprotective, although toxic effects have also been demonstrated. Here we investigated if and how EP2 activation might alter the survival of dopaminergic neurons following selective low-level oxidative injury evoked by the neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) in primary neuronal cultures prepared from embryonic rat midbrain. We found that cultured dopaminergic neurons displayed EP2 receptors. Butaprost, a selective EP2 agonist, significantly reduced 6-OHDA neurotoxicity. EP2 receptors are coupled to stimulatory G-proteins (Gs), which activate adenylate cyclase, increasing cAMP synthesis, which then activates protein kinase A (PKA). Both dibutyryl cAMP and forskolin reduced dopaminergic cell loss after 6-OHDA exposure. Conversely, KT5720 and H-89, two structurally distinct high-affinity PKA inhibitors, abolished the protective effect of butaprost, implicating cAMP-dependent PKA activity in the neuroprotection by EP2 activation. Finally, we show that melanized dopaminergic neurons in the human SN express EP2. This pathway warrants consideration as a neuroprotective strategy for PD. PMID:18597941

  8. Prostaglandin receptor EP2 protects dopaminergic neurons against 6-OHDA-mediated low oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Carrasco, Emilce; Werner, Peter; Casper, Diana

    2008-08-15

    Dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) selectively die in Parkinson's disease (PD), but it is unclear how and why this occurs. Recent findings implicate prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) and two of its four receptors, namely EP1 and EP2, as mediators of degenerative and protective events in situations of acute and chronic neuronal death. EP1 activation can exacerbate excitotoxic damage in stroke models and our recent study showed that EP1 activation may explain the selective sensitivity of dopaminergic neurons to oxidative stress. Conversely, EP2 activation may be neuroprotective, although toxic effects have also been demonstrated. Here we investigated if and how EP2 activation might alter the survival of dopaminergic neurons following selective low-level oxidative injury evoked by the neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) in primary neuronal cultures prepared from embryonic rat midbrain. We found that cultured dopaminergic neurons displayed EP2 receptors. Butaprost, a selective EP2 agonist, significantly reduced 6-OHDA neurotoxicity. EP2 receptors are coupled to stimulatory G-proteins (Gs), which activate adenylate cyclase, increasing cAMP synthesis, which then activates protein kinase A (PKA). Both dibutyryl cAMP and forskolin reduced dopaminergic cell loss after 6-OHDA exposure. Conversely, KT5720 and H-89, two structurally distinct high-affinity PKA inhibitors, abolished the protective effect of butaprost, implicating cAMP-dependent PKA activity in the neuroprotection by EP2 activation. Finally, we show that melanized dopaminergic neurons in the human SN express EP2. This pathway warrants consideration as a neuroprotective strategy for PD.

  9. Zhichan decoction induces differentiation of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease rats after neural stem cell transplantation

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Huifen; Song, Jie; Yang, Xuming

    2014-01-01

    The goal of this study was to increase the dopamine content and reduce dopaminergic metabolites in the brain of Parkinson's disease rats. Using high-performance liquid chromatography, we found that dopamine and dopaminergic metabolite (dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and homovanillic acid) content in the midbrain of Parkinson's disease rats was increased after neural stem cell transplantation + Zhichan decoction, compared with neural stem cell transplantation alone. Our genetic algorithm results show that dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and homovanillic acid levels achieve global optimization. Neural stem cell transplantation + Zhichan decoction increased dihydroxyphenylacetic acid levels up to 10-fold, while transplantation alone resulted in a 3-fold increment. Homovanillic acid levels showed no apparent change. Our experimental findings show that after neural stem cell transplantation in Parkinson's disease rats, Zhichan decoction can promote differentiation of neural stem cells into dopaminergic neurons. PMID:25206914

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Midbrain dopaminergic axons are guided longitudinally through the diencephalon by Slit/Robo signals.

    PubMed

    Dugan, James P; Stratton, Andrea; Riley, Hilary P; Farmer, W Todd; Mastick, Grant S

    2011-01-01

    Dopaminergic neurons from the ventral mesencephalon/diencephalon (mesodiencephalon) form vital pathways constituting the majority of the brain's dopamine systems. Mesodiencephalic dopaminergic (mdDA) neurons extend longitudinal projections anteriorly through the diencephalon, ascending toward forebrain targets. The mechanisms by which mdDA axons initially navigate through the diencephalon are poorly understood. Recently the Slit family of secreted axon guidance proteins, and their Robo receptors, have been identified as important guides for descending longitudinal axons. To test the potential roles of Slit/Robo guidance in ascending trajectories, we examined tyrosine hydroxylase-positive (TH+) projections from mdDA neurons in mutant mouse embryos. We found that mdDA axons grow out of and parallel to Slit-positive ventral regions within the diencephalon, and that subsets of the mdDA axons likely express Robo1 and possibly also Robo2. Slit2 was able to directly inhibit TH axon outgrowth in explant co-culture assays. The mdDA axons made significant pathfinding errors in Slit1/2 and Robo1/2 knockout mice, including spreading out in the diencephalon to form a wider tract. The wider tract resulted from a combination of invasion of the ventral midline, consistent with Slit repulsion, but also axons wandering dorsally, away from the ventral midline. Aberrant dorsal trajectories were prominent in Robo1 and Robo1/2 knockout mice, suggesting that an aspect of Robo receptor function is Slit-independent. These results indicate that Slit/Robo signaling is critical during the initial establishment of dopaminergic pathways, with roles in the dorsoventral positioning and precise pathfinding of these ascending longitudinal axons.

  13. Wnt2 regulates progenitor proliferation in the developing ventral midbrain.

    PubMed

    Sousa, Kyle M; Villaescusa, J Carlos; Cajanek, Lukas; Ondr, Jennifer K; Castelo-Branco, Goncalo; Hofstra, Wytske; Bryja, Vitezslav; Palmberg, Carina; Bergman, Tomas; Wainwright, Brandon; Lang, Richard A; Arenas, Ernest

    2010-03-05

    Wnts are secreted, lipidated proteins that regulate multiple aspects of brain development, including dopaminergic neuron development. In this study, we perform the first purification and signaling analysis of Wnt2 and define the function of Wnt2 in ventral midbrain precursor cultures, as well as in Wnt2-null mice in vivo. We found that purified Wnt2 induces the phosphorylation of both Lrp5/6 and Dvl-2/3, and activates beta-catenin in SN4741 dopaminergic cells. Moreover, purified Wnt2 increases progenitor proliferation, and the number of dopaminergic neurons in ventral midbrain precursor cultures. In agreement with these findings, analysis of the ventral midbrain of developing Wnt2-null mice revealed a decrease in progenitor proliferation and neurogenesis that lead to a decrease in the number of postmitotic precursors and dopaminergic neurons. Collectively, our observations identify Wnt2 as a novel regulator of dopaminergic progenitors and dopaminergic neuron development.

  14. Wnt2 Regulates Progenitor Proliferation in the Developing Ventral Midbrain*

    PubMed Central

    Sousa, Kyle M.; Villaescusa, J. Carlos; Cajanek, Lukas; Ondr, Jennifer K.; Castelo-Branco, Goncalo; Hofstra, Wytske; Bryja, Vitezslav; Palmberg, Carina; Bergman, Tomas; Wainwright, Brandon; Lang, Richard A.; Arenas, Ernest

    2010-01-01

    Wnts are secreted, lipidated proteins that regulate multiple aspects of brain development, including dopaminergic neuron development. In this study, we perform the first purification and signaling analysis of Wnt2 and define the function of Wnt2 in ventral midbrain precursor cultures, as well as in Wnt2-null mice in vivo. We found that purified Wnt2 induces the phosphorylation of both Lrp5/6 and Dvl-2/3, and activates β-catenin in SN4741 dopaminergic cells. Moreover, purified Wnt2 increases progenitor proliferation, and the number of dopaminergic neurons in ventral midbrain precursor cultures. In agreement with these findings, analysis of the ventral midbrain of developing Wnt2-null mice revealed a decrease in progenitor proliferation and neurogenesis that lead to a decrease in the number of postmitotic precursors and dopaminergic neurons. Collectively, our observations identify Wnt2 as a novel regulator of dopaminergic progenitors and dopaminergic neuron development. PMID:20018874

  15. 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

  16. Enhancement of Dopaminergic Differentiation in Proliferating Midbrain Neuroblasts by Sonic Hedgehog and Ascorbic Acid

    PubMed Central

    Volpicelli, Floriana; Consales, Claudia; Caiazzo, Massimiliano; Colucci-D'Amato, Luca; Perrone-Capano, Carla; di Porzio, Umberto

    2004-01-01

    We analyzed the molecular mechanisms involved in the acquisition and maturation of dopaminergic (DA) neurons generated in vitro from rat ventral mesencephalon (MES) cells in the presence of mitogens or specific signaling molecules. The addition of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) to MES cells in serum-free medium stimulates the proliferation of neuroblasts but delays DA differentiation. Recombinant Sonic hedgehog (SHH) protein increases up to three fold the number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive cells and their differentiation, an effect abolished by anti-SHH antibodies. The expanded cultures are rich in nestin-positive neurons, glial cells are rare, all TH+ neurons are DA, and all DA and GABAergic markers analyzed are expressed. Adding ascorbic acid to bFGF/SHH-treated cultures resulted in a further five- to seven-fold enhancement of viable DA neurons. This experimental system also provides a powerful tool to generate DA neurons from single embryos. Our strategy provides an enriched source of MES DA neurons that are useful for analyzing molecular mechanisms controlling their function and for experimental regenerative approaches in DA dysfunction. PMID:15303305

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Wnt/B-Catenin Signaling is Required to Rescue Midbrain Dopaminergic Progenitors and Promote Neurorepair in Ageing Mouse Model of Parkinson’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    L’Episcopo, Francesca; Tirolo, Cataldo; Testa, Nunzio; Caniglia, Salvatore; Morale, Maria Concetta; Serapide, Maria Francesca; Pluchino, Stefano; Marchetti, Bianca

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Wnt/β-catenin signaling is required for specification and neurogenesis of midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons, the pivotal neuronal population that degenerates in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of PD. Wnt/β-catenin signaling plays a vital role in adult neurogenesis but whether it might engage DA neurogenesis/neurorepair in the affected PD brain is yet unresolved. Recently, the adult midbrain aqueduct periventricular regions (Aq-PVRs) were shown to harbor neural stem/progenitor cells (mNPCs) with DA potential in vitro, but restrictive mechanisms in vivo are believed to limit their DA regenerative capacity. Using in vitro mNPC culture systems we herein demonstrate that aging is one most critical factor restricting mNPC neurogenic potential via dysregulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Cococulture paradigms between young/aged (Y/A) mNPCs and Y/A astrocytes identified glial age and a decline of glial-derived factors including Wnts as key determinants of impaired neurogenic potential, whereas Wnt activation regimens efficiently reversed the diminished proliferative, neuronal and DA differentiation potential of A-mNPCs. Next, in vivo studies in wild (Wt) and transgenic β-catenin reporter mice uncovered Wnt/β-catenin signaling activation and remarkable astrocyte remodeling of Aq-PVR in response to MPTP-induced DA neuron death. Spatio-temporal analyses unveiled β-catenin signaling in predopaminergic (Nurr1+/TH−) and imperiled or rescuing DAT+ neurons during MPTP-induced DA neuron injury and self-repair. Aging inhibited Wnt signaling, whereas β-catenin activation in situ with a specific GSK-3β antagonist promoted a significant degree of DA neurorestoration associated with reversal of motor deficit, with implications for neurorestorative approaches in PD. PMID:24648001

  1. Neuroprotection of resveratrol against neurotoxicity induced by methamphetamine in mouse mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Sun, Dong; Yue, Qingwei; Guo, Weihua; Li, Tao; Zhang, Jing; Li, Guibao; Liu, Zengxun; Sun, Jinhao

    2015-01-01

    Resveratrol is originally extracted from huzhang, a Chinese herbal medicine. Recently, resveratrol has attracted a great of attention due to its antioxidant and antiapoptotic properties. Although the neuroprotection of resveratrol on neural damages in various models has been well characterized, little is known about the role of resveratrol in methamphetamine (MA) induced neurotoxicity in mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons. Dopaminergic neurons were isolated from midbrain of mouse embryos at embryonic day 15 and cultured in the presence of MA and resveratrol. Cell viability was examined by MTT assay and the apoptosis was assessed using Hoechst33342/PI double staining. To evaluate the Oxidative damage, ROS assay was performed. Moreover, the changes of time course of intracellular free calcium concentration ([Ca(2+) ]i) were analyzed with Fluo-3/AM tracing. The data showed that MA induced the neurotoxicity of cultured cells in a dose-dependent manner. Resveratrol significantly increased cellular viability and retarded cell apoptosis. Furthermore, resveratrol also attenuated MA induced ROS production and intracellular free calcium overload. Our results suggest that resveratrol protects dopaminergic neurons from MA-induced neuronal cytotoxicity, which, at least partly, is mediated by inhibition of [Ca(2+) ]i and oxidative stress. © 2015 BioFactors 41(4):252-260, 2015.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. ETHANOL ACTION ON DOPAMINERGIC NEURONS IN THE VENTRAL TEGMENTAL AREA: INTERACTION WITH INTRINSIC ION CHANNELS AND NEUROTRANSMITTER INPUTS

    PubMed Central

    Morikawa, Hitoshi; Morrisett, Richard A.

    2010-01-01

    The dopaminergic system originating in the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA) has been extensively studied over the past decades as a critical neural substrate involved in the development of alcoholism and addiction to other drugs of abuse. Accumulating evidence indicates that ethanol modulates the functional output of this system by directly affecting the firing activity of VTA dopamine neurons, whereas withdrawal from chronic ethanol exposure leads to a reduction in the functional output of these neurons. This chapter will provide an update on the mechanistic investigations of the acute ethanol action on dopamine neuron activity and the neuroadaptations/plasticities in the VTA produced by previous ethanol experience. PMID:20813245

  5. A PBX1 transcriptional network controls dopaminergic neuron development and is impaired in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Villaescusa, J Carlos; Li, Bingsi; Toledo, Enrique M; Rivetti di Val Cervo, Pia; Yang, Shanzheng; Stott, Simon Rw; Kaiser, Karol; Islam, Saiful; Gyllborg, Daniel; Laguna-Goya, Rocio; Landreh, Michael; Lönnerberg, Peter; Falk, Anna; Bergman, Tomas; Barker, Roger A; Linnarsson, Sten; Selleri, Licia; Arenas, Ernest

    2016-09-15

    Pre-B-cell leukemia homeobox (PBX) transcription factors are known to regulate organogenesis, but their molecular targets and function in midbrain dopaminergic neurons (mDAn) as well as their role in neurodegenerative diseases are unknown. Here, we show that PBX1 controls a novel transcriptional network required for mDAn specification and survival, which is sufficient to generate mDAn from human stem cells. Mechanistically, PBX1 plays a dual role in transcription by directly repressing or activating genes, such as Onecut2 to inhibit lateral fates during embryogenesis, Pitx3 to promote mDAn development, and Nfe2l1 to protect from oxidative stress. Notably, PBX1 and NFE2L1 levels are severely reduced in dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and decreased NFE2L1 levels increases damage by oxidative stress in human midbrain cells. Thus, our results reveal novel roles for PBX1 and its transcriptional network in mDAn development and PD, opening the door for new therapeutic interventions.

  6. Sirt3 Protects Dopaminergic Neurons from Mitochondrial Oxidative Stress.

    PubMed

    Shi, Han; Deng, Han-Xiang; Gius, David; Schumacker, Paul T; James Surmeier, D; Ma, Yong-Chao

    2017-03-24

    Age-dependent elevation in mitochondrial oxidative stress is widely posited to be a major factor underlying the loss of substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, mechanistic links between aging and oxidative stress are not well understood. Sirtuin-3 (Sirt3) is a mitochondrial deacetylase that could mediate this connection. Indeed, genetic deletion of Sirt3 increased oxidative stress and decreased the membrane potential of mitochondria in SNc dopaminergic neurons. This change was attributable to increased acetylation and decreased activity of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD). Site directed mutagenesis of lysine 68 to glutamine (K68Q), mimicking acetylation, decreased MnSOD activity in SNc dopaminergic neurons, whereas mutagenesis of lysine 68 to arginine (K68R), mimicking deacetylation, increased activity. Introduction of K68R MnSOD rescued mitochondrial redox status and membrane potential of SNc dopaminergic neurons from Sirt3 knockouts. Moreover, deletion of DJ-1, which helps orchestrate nuclear oxidant defenses, and Sirt3 in mice led to a clear age-related loss of SNc dopaminergic neurons. Lastly, K68 acetylation of MnSOD was significantly increased in the SNc of PD patients. Taken together, our studies suggest that an age-related decline in Sirt3 protective function is a major factor underlying increasing mitochondrial oxidative stress and loss of SNc dopaminergic neurons in PD.

  7. Proneural Transcription Factor Atoh1 Drives Highly Efficient Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Into Dopaminergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Sagal, Jonathan; Zhan, Xiping; Xu, Jinchong; Tilghman, Jessica; Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar S.; Chen, Li; Dawson, Valina L.; Dawson, Ted M.; Laterra, John

    2014-01-01

    Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) are a promising cell resource for various applications in regenerative medicine. Highly efficient approaches that differentiate human PSCs into functional lineage-specific neurons are critical for modeling neurological disorders and testing potential therapies. Proneural transcription factors are crucial drivers of neuron development and hold promise for driving highly efficient neuronal conversion in PSCs. Here, we study the functions of proneural transcription factor Atoh1 in the neuronal differentiation of PSCs. We show that Atoh1 is induced during the neuronal conversion of PSCs and that ectopic Atoh1 expression is sufficient to drive PSCs into neurons with high efficiency. Atoh1 induction, in combination with cell extrinsic factors, differentiates PSCs into functional dopaminergic (DA) neurons with >80% purity. Atoh1-induced DA neurons recapitulate key biochemical and electrophysiological features of midbrain DA neurons, the degeneration of which is responsible for clinical symptoms in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Atoh1-induced DA neurons provide a reliable disease model for studying PD pathogenesis, such as neurotoxin-induced neurodegeneration in PD. Overall, our results determine the role of Atoh1 in regulating neuronal differentiation and neuron subtype specification of human PSCs. Our Atoh1-mediated differentiation approach will enable large-scale applications of PD patient-derived midbrain DA neurons in mechanistic studies and drug screening for both familial and sporadic PD. PMID:24904172

  8. Natural apoptosis in developing mice dopamine midbrain neurons and vermal Purkinje cells.

    PubMed

    Martí-Clúa, J

    2016-01-01

    Natural cell death by apoptosis was studied in two neuronal populations of BALB/c, C57BL/6 and B6CBA-Aw-j/A hybrid stock mice: (I) dopaminergic (DA) neurons in choosing coronal levels throughout the anteroposterior extent of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc), and (II) Purkinje cells (PCs) in each vermal lobe of the cerebellar cortex. Mice were collected at postnatal day (P) 2 and P14 for the midbrain study, and at P4 and P7 for the analysis of the cerebellum. No DA cells with morphologic criteria for apoptosis were found. Moreover, when the combination of tyrosine hydroxylase and TUNEL or tyrosine hydroxylase and active caspase-3 immunohistochemistry were performed in the same tissue section, no DA cells TUNEL positives or active caspase-3-stained DA neurons were seen. On the other hand, when PCs were considered, data analysis revealed that more dying PCs were observed at P4 than at P7. Values of neuron death were highest in the central lobe; this was followed by the posterior and anterior lobes and then by the inferior lobe. To determine if apoptotic death of PCs is linked to their time-of-origin profiles, pregnant dams were administered with [3H]TdR on embryonic days 11-12, 12-13, 13-14 and 14-15. When TUNEL and [3H]TdR autoradiography or active caspase-3 immunohistochemistry and [3H]TdR autoradiography were combined in the same tissue section, results reveal that the naturally occurring PC death is not related to its time of origin but, rather, is random across age.

  9. Ghrelin inhibits LPS-induced release of IL-6 from mouse dopaminergic neurones

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Ghrelin is an orexigenic stomach hormone that acts centrally to increase mid-brain dopamine neurone activity, amplify dopamine signaling and protect against neurotoxin-induced dopamine cell death in the mouse substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). In addition, ghrelin inhibits the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced release of pro-inflammatory cytokines from peripheral macrophages, T-cells and from LPS stimulated microglia. Here we sought to determine whether ghrelin attenuates pro-inflammatory cytokine release from dopaminergic neurones. Findings The dopaminergic SN4741 cell-line, which derives from the mouse substantia nigra (SN) and expresses the ghrelin-receptor (growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R)) and the ghrelin-O-acyl transferase (GOAT) enzyme, was used to determine the neuro-immunomodulatory action of ghrelin. We induced innate immune activation via LPS challenge (1 μg/ml) of SN4741 neurones that had been pre-cultured in the presence or absence of ghrelin (1, 10, 100 nM) for 4 h. After 24 h supernatants were collected for detection of IL-1 beta (IL-1β ), TNF alpha (TNF-α) and IL-6 cytokines via enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) analysis. Nuclear translocation of the transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) was analyzed by Western blotting, and to determine viability of treatments a cell viability assay and caspase-3 immunohistochemistry were performed. We provide evidence that while IL-1β and TNF-α were not detectable under any conditions, SN4741 neurones constitutively released IL-6 under basal conditions and treatment with LPS significantly increased IL-6 secretion. Pre-treatment of neurones with ghrelin attenuated LPS-mediated IL-6 release at 24 h, an affect that was inhibited by the GHS-R antagonist [D-Lys3]-GHRP-6. However, while ghrelin pre-treatment attenuated the LPS-mediated increase in NF-κB, there was no alteration in its nuclear translocation. Cell viability assay and caspase-3 immunocytochemistry

  10. Detailed Analysis of the Genetic and Epigenetic Signatures of iPSC-Derived Mesodiencephalic Dopaminergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Roessler, Reinhard; Smallwood, Sebastien A.; Veenvliet, Jesse V.; Pechlivanoglou, Petros; Peng, Su-Ping; Chakrabarty, Koushik; Groot-Koerkamp, Marian J.A.; Pasterkamp, R. Jeroen; Wesseling, Evelyn; Kelsey, Gavin; Boddeke, Erik; Smidt, Marten P.; Copray, Sjef

    2014-01-01

    Summary Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) hold great promise for in vitro generation of disease-relevant cell types, such as mesodiencephalic dopaminergic (mdDA) neurons involved in Parkinson’s disease. Although iPSC-derived midbrain DA neurons have been generated, detailed genetic and epigenetic characterizations of such neurons are lacking. The goal of this study was to examine the authenticity of iPSC-derived DA neurons obtained by established protocols. We FACS purified mdDA (Pitx3Gfp/+) neurons derived from mouse iPSCs and primary mdDA (Pitx3Gfp/+) neurons to analyze and compare their genetic and epigenetic features. Although iPSC-derived DA neurons largely adopted characteristics of their in vivo counterparts, relevant deviations in global gene expression and DNA methylation were found. Hypermethylated genes, mainly involved in neurodevelopment and basic neuronal functions, consequently showed reduced expression levels. Such abnormalities should be addressed because they might affect unambiguous long-term functionality and hamper the potential of iPSC-derived DA neurons for in vitro disease modeling or cell-based therapy. PMID:24749075

  11. Transient high-frequency firing in a coupled-oscillator model of the mesencephalic dopaminergic neuron.

    PubMed

    Kuznetsov, Alexey S; Kopell, Nancy J; Wilson, Charles J

    2006-02-01

    Dopaminergic neurons of the midbrain fire spontaneously at rates <10/s and ordinarily will not exceed this range even when driven with somatic current injection. When driven at higher rates, these cells undergo spike failure through depolarization block. During spontaneous bursting of dopaminergic neurons in vivo, bursts related to reward expectation in behaving animals, and bursts generated by dendritic application of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) agonists, transient firing attains rates well above this range. We suggest a way such high-frequency firing may occur in response to dendritic NMDA receptor activation. We have extended the coupled oscillator model of the dopaminergic neuron, which represents the soma and dendrites as electrically coupled compartments with different natural spiking frequencies, by addition of dendritic AMPA (voltage-independent) or NMDA (voltage-dependent) synaptic conductance. Both soma and dendrites contain a simplified version of the calcium-potassium mechanism known to be the mechanism for slow spontaneous oscillation and background firing in dopaminergic cells. The compartments differ only in diameter, and this difference is responsible for the difference in natural frequencies. We show that because of its voltage dependence, NMDA receptor activation acts to amplify the effect on the soma of the high-frequency oscillation of the dendrites, which is normally too weak to exert a large influence on the overall oscillation frequency of the neuron. During the high-frequency oscillations that result, sodium inactivation in the soma is removed rapidly after each action potential by the hyperpolarizing influence of the dendritic calcium-dependent potassium current, preventing depolarization block of the spike mechanism, and allowing high-frequency spiking.

  12. 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.

  13. [Effect of interrupting hippocampal connections on the neuronal activity of several midbrain nuclei].

    PubMed

    Kichigina, V F; Vinogradova, O S

    1979-01-01

    Experiments were performed on unanaesthetized rabbits with intact brain and with septo-hippocampal disconnection depriving midbrain structures of descending hippocampal influences. General characteristics of neuronal reactions in midbrain raphe (MR) and ventral tegmental nucleus (VT) did not change following deafferentation. The level of reactivity increased in VT and decreased in MR. The mean latencies of on-responses in MR became longer (15,5 msec for auditory stimuli versus 10,5 msec in intact brain); in VT they became shorter (14,5 msec versus 17 msec). Habituation of reactions, normally present in about half of neurones, disappeared. Neurones with incremental responses gradually increasing in strength and duration were observed. Complex functional relations between the hippocampus and unspecific midbrain structures are discussed.

  14. Dissecting the role of Engrailed in adult dopaminergic neurons--Insights into Parkinson disease pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Rekaik, Hocine; Blaudin de Thé, François-Xavier; Prochiantz, Alain; Fuchs, Julia; Joshi, Rajiv L

    2015-12-21

    The homeoprotein Engrailed (Engrailed-1/Engrailed-2, collectively En1/2) is not only a survival factor for mesencephalic dopaminergic (mDA) neurons during development, but continues to exert neuroprotective and physiological functions in adult mDA neurons. Loss of one En1 allele in the mouse leads to progressive demise of mDA neurons in the ventral midbrain starting from 6 weeks of age. These mice also develop Parkinson disease-like motor and non-motor symptoms. The characterization of En1 heterozygous mice have revealed striking parallels to central mechanisms of Parkinson disease pathogenesis, mainly related to mitochondrial dysfunction and retrograde degeneration. Thanks to the ability of homeoproteins to transduce cells, En1/2 proteins have also been used to protect mDA neurons in various experimental models of Parkinson disease. This neuroprotection is partly linked to the ability of En1/2 to regulate the translation of certain nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNAs for complex I subunits. Other transcription factors that govern mDA neuron development (e.g. Foxa1/2, Lmx1a/b, Nurr1, Otx2, Pitx3) also continue to function for the survival and maintenance of mDA neurons in the adult and act through partially overlapping but also diverse mechanisms.

  15. X-ray fluorescence analysis of iron and manganese distribution in primary dopaminergic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Dučić, Tanja; Barski, Elisabeth; Salome, Murielle; Koch, Jan C; Bähr, Mathias; Lingor, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Transition metals have been suggested to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. X-ray microscopy combined with a cryogenic setup is a powerful method for elemental imaging in low concentrations and high resolution in intact cells, eliminating the need for fixation and sectioning of the specimen. Here, we performed an elemental distribution analysis in cultured primary midbrain neurons with a step size in the order of 300 nm and ∼ 0.1 ppm sensitivity under cryo conditions by using X-ray fluorescence microscopy. We report the elemental mappings on the subcellular level in primary mouse dopaminergic (DAergic) and non-DAergic neurons after treatment with transition metals. Application of Fe2+ resulted in largely extracellular accumulation of iron without preference for the neuronal transmitter subtype. A quantification of different Fe oxidation states was performed using X-ray absorption near edge structure analysis. After treatment with Mn2+, a cytoplasmic/paranuclear localization of Mn was observed preferentially in DAergic neurons, while no prominent signal was detectable after Mn3+ treatment. Immunocytochemical analysis correlated the preferential Mn uptake to increased expression of voltage-gated calcium channels in DAergic neurons. We discuss the implications of this differential elemental distribution for the selective vulnerability of DAergic neurons and Parkinson's disease pathogenesis. PMID:23106162

  16. Human polymorphisms in nicotinic receptors: a functional analysis in iPS-derived dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Deflorio, Cristina; Blanchard, Stéphane; Carisì, Maria Carla; Bohl, Delphine; Maskos, Uwe

    2017-02-01

    Tobacco smoking is a public health problem, with ∼5 million deaths per year, representing a heavy burden for many countries. No effective therapeutic strategies are currently available for nicotine addiction, and it is therefore crucial to understand the etiological and pathophysiological factors contributing to this addiction. The neuronal α5 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit is critically involved in nicotine dependence. In particular, the human polymorphism α5D398N corresponds to the strongest correlation with nicotine dependence risk found to date in occidental populations, according to meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies. To understand the specific contribution of this subunit in the context of nicotine addiction, an efficient screening system for native human nAChRs is needed. We have differentiated human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons and obtained a comprehensive characterization of these neurons by quantitative RT-PCR. The functional properties of nAChRs expressed in these human DA neurons, with or without the polymorphism in the α5 subunit, were studied with the patch-clamp electrophysiological technique. Our results in human DA neurons carrying the polymorphism in the α5 subunit showed an increase in EC50, indicating that, in the presence of the polymorphism, more nicotine or acetylcholine chloride is necessary to obtain the same effect. This human cell culturing system can now be used in drug discovery approaches to screen for compounds that interact specifically with human native and polymorphic nAChRs.-Deflorio, C., Blanchard, S., Carisì, M. C., Bohl, D., Maskos, U. Human polymorphisms in nicotinic receptors: a functional analysis in iPS-derived dopaminergic neurons.

  17. Correlation between dopaminergic phenotype and expression of calretinin in the midbrain nuclei of the opossum (Monodelphis domestica): an immunohistological study.

    PubMed

    Klejbor, Ilona; Ludkiewicz, Beata; Wojcik, Sławomir; Turlejski, Krzysztof

    2013-01-01

    We investigated distribution and morphology of neurons of the midbrain nuclei: the ventral tegmental area (VTA), substantia nigra (SN) and periaqueductal gray (PAG) of the adult grey short-tailed opossums that were double immunolabeled for the presence of calretinin (CR) and/or tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). The majority of TH-immunopositive neurons and fibers were located in the VTA, SN, and only scarce population of small neurons expressing TH was present in the PAG. In the SN 80 percent of TH-expressing neurons had large cell bodies, and only a small fraction had small perikarya. In the PAG populations of large and medium sized neurons were equal and 20 percent of neurons had small perikarya. Much scarcer population of TH-immunoreactive neurons in the PAG consisted of large or small neurons in its dorsal part (PAGd) and almost exclusively small neurons in the ventral part (PAGv). Distribution of neurons expressing TH and their types in the opossum are similar to those in rodents. The majority of CR-immunolabeled neurons were found in the VTA. In its subdivision, the parabrachal pigmented nucleus (PBP) cells expressing CR were approximately 28 percent more numerous than cells expressing TH. In spite of that, only 42 percent of TH-expressing neurons coexpressed CR. The high degree of colocalization TH and CR was observed in the SN. We propose that a higher percentage of TH/CR colocalization, which is observed in the opossums SN, may give them the ability to adapt to changes in their motor functions.

  18. 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.

  19. Menthol Alone Upregulates Midbrain nAChRs, Alters nAChR Subtype Stoichiometry, Alters Dopamine Neuron Firing Frequency, and Prevents Nicotine Reward.

    PubMed

    Henderson, Brandon J; Wall, Teagan R; Henley, Beverley M; Kim, Charlene H; Nichols, Weston A; Moaddel, Ruin; Xiao, Cheng; Lester, Henry A

    2016-03-09

    Upregulation of β2 subunit-containing (β2*) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) is implicated in several aspects of nicotine addiction, and menthol cigarette smokers tend to upregulate β2* nAChRs more than nonmenthol cigarette smokers. We investigated the effect of long-term menthol alone on midbrain neurons containing nAChRs. In midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons from mice containing fluorescent nAChR subunits, menthol alone increased the number of α4 and α6 nAChR subunits, but this upregulation did not occur in midbrain GABAergic neurons. Thus, chronic menthol produces a cell-type-selective upregulation of α4* nAChRs, complementing that of chronic nicotine alone, which upregulates α4 subunit-containing (α4*) nAChRs in GABAergic but not DA neurons. In mouse brain slices and cultured midbrain neurons, menthol reduced DA neuron firing frequency and altered DA neuron excitability following nAChR activation. Furthermore, menthol exposure before nicotine abolished nicotine reward-related behavior in mice. In neuroblastoma cells transfected with fluorescent nAChR subunits, exposure to 500 nm menthol alone also increased nAChR number and favored the formation of (α4)3(β2)2 nAChRs; this contrasts with the action of nicotine itself, which favors (α4)2(β2)3 nAChRs. Menthol alone also increases the number of α6β2 receptors that exclude the β3 subunit. Thus, menthol stabilizes lower-sensitivity α4* and α6 subunit-containing nAChRs, possibly by acting as a chemical chaperone. The abolition of nicotine reward-related behavior may be mediated through menthol's ability to stabilize lower-sensitivity nAChRs and alter DA neuron excitability. We conclude that menthol is more than a tobacco flavorant: administered alone chronically, it alters midbrain DA neurons of the nicotine reward-related pathway.

  20. Neuroprotection and neuronal differentiation studies using substantia nigra dopaminergic cells derived from transgenic mouse embryos.

    PubMed

    Son, J H; Chun, H S; Joh, T H; Cho, S; Conti, B; Lee, J W

    1999-01-01

    The major pathological lesion of Parkinson's disease (PD) is the selective cell death of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in substantia nigra (SN). Although the initial cause and subsequent molecular signaling mechanisms leading to DA cell death underlying the PD process remain elusive, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is thought to exert neuroprotective as well as neurotrophic roles for the survival and differentiation of DA neurons in SN. Addressing molecular mechanisms of BDNF action in both primary embryonic mesencephalic cultures and in vivo animal models has been technically difficult because DA neurons in SN are relatively rare and present with many heterogeneous cell populations in midbrain. We have developed and characterized a DA neuronal cell line of embryonic SN origin that is more accessible to molecular analysis and can be used as an in vitro model system for studying SN DA neurons. A clonal SN DA neuronal progenitor cell line SN4741, arrested at an early DA developmental stage, was established from transgenic mouse embryos containing the targeted expression of the thermolabile SV40Tag in SN DA neurons. The phenotypic and morphological differentiation of the SN4741 cells could be manipulated by environmental cues in vitro. Exogenous BDNF treatment produced significant neuroprotection against 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium, glutamate, and nitric oxide-induced neurotoxicity in the SN4741 cells. Simultaneous phosphorylation of receptor tyrosine kinase B accompanied the neuroprotection. This SN DA neuronal cell line provides a unique model system to circumvent the limitations associated with primary mesencephalic cultures for the elucidation of molecular mechanisms of BDNF action on DA neurons of the SN.

  1. 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.

  2. Functional Rescue of Dopaminergic Neuron Loss in Parkinson's Disease Mice After Transplantation of Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells.

    PubMed

    Altarche-Xifro, Wassim; di Vicino, Umberto; Muñoz-Martin, Maria Isabel; Bortolozzi, Analía; Bové, Jordi; Vila, Miquel; Cosma, Maria Pia

    2016-06-01

    Parkinson's disease is a common neurodegenerative disorder, which is due to the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and for which no definitive cure is currently available. Cellular functions in mouse and human tissues can be restored after fusion of bone marrow (BM)-derived cells with a variety of somatic cells. Here, after transplantation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) in the SNpc of two different mouse models of Parkinson's disease, we significantly ameliorated the dopaminergic neuron loss and function. We show fusion of transplanted HSPCs with neurons and with glial cells in the ventral midbrain of Parkinson's disease mice. Interestingly, the hybrids can undergo reprogramming in vivo and survived up to 4weeks after transplantation, while acquiring features of mature astroglia. These newly generated astroglia produced Wnt1 and were essential for functional rescue of the dopaminergic neurons. Our data suggest that glial-derived hybrids produced upon fusion of transplanted HSPCs in the SNpc can rescue the Parkinson's disease phenotype via a niche-mediated effect, and can be exploited as an efficient cell-therapy approach.

  3. Transcription factors FOXA1 and FOXA2 maintain dopaminergic neuronal properties and control feeding behavior in adult mice

    PubMed Central

    Pristerà, Alessandro; Lin, Wei; Kaufmann, Anna-Kristin; Brimblecombe, Katherine R.; Threlfell, Sarah; Dodson, Paul D.; Magill, Peter J.; Fernandes, Cathy; Cragg, Stephanie J.; Ang, Siew-Lan

    2015-01-01

    Midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons are implicated in cognitive functions, neuropsychiatric disorders, and pathological conditions; hence understanding genes regulating their homeostasis has medical relevance. Transcription factors FOXA1 and FOXA2 (FOXA1/2) are key determinants of mDA neuronal identity during development, but their roles in adult mDA neurons are unknown. We used a conditional knockout strategy to specifically ablate FOXA1/2 in mDA neurons of adult mice. We show that deletion of Foxa1/2 results in down-regulation of tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme of dopamine (DA) biosynthesis, specifically in dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). In addition, DA synthesis and striatal DA transmission were reduced after Foxa1/2 deletion. Furthermore, the burst-firing activity characteristic of SNc mDA neurons was drastically reduced in the absence of FOXA1/2. These molecular and functional alterations lead to a severe feeding deficit in adult Foxa1/2 mutant mice, independently of motor control, which could be rescued by l-DOPA treatment. FOXA1/2 therefore control the maintenance of molecular and physiological properties of SNc mDA neurons and impact on feeding behavior in adult mice. PMID:26283356

  4. Electrical and Ca2+ signaling in dendritic spines of substantia nigra dopaminergic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Hage, Travis A; Sun, Yujie; Khaliq, Zayd M

    2016-01-01

    Little is known about the density and function of dendritic spines on midbrain dopamine neurons, or the relative contribution of spine and shaft synapses to excitability. Using Ca2+ imaging, glutamate uncaging, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching and transgenic mice expressing labeled PSD-95, we comparatively analyzed electrical and Ca2+ signaling in spines and shaft synapses of dopamine neurons. Dendritic spines were present on dopaminergic neurons at low densities in live and fixed tissue. Uncaging-evoked potential amplitudes correlated inversely with spine length but positively with the presence of PSD-95. Spine Ca2+ signals were less sensitive to hyperpolarization than shaft synapses, suggesting amplification of spine head voltages. Lastly, activating spines during pacemaking, we observed an unexpected enhancement of spine Ca2+ midway throughout the spike cycle, likely involving recruitment of NMDA receptors and voltage-gated conductances. These results demonstrate functionality of spines in dopamine neurons and reveal a novel modulation of spine Ca2+ signaling during pacemaking. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13905.001 PMID:27163179

  5. Differential Neuronal Plasticity of Dental Pulp Stem Cells From Exfoliated Deciduous and Permanent Teeth Towards Dopaminergic Neurons.

    PubMed

    Majumdar, Debanjana; Kanafi, Mohammad; Bhonde, Ramesh; Gupta, Pawan; Datta, Indrani

    2016-09-01

    Based on early occurrence in chronological age, stem-cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED) has been reported to possess better differentiation-potential toward certain cell-lineage in comparison to stem-cells from adult teeth (DPSCs). Whether this same property between them extends for the yield of functional central nervous system neurons is still not evaluated. Hence, we aim to assess the neuronal plasticity of SHED in comparison to DPSCs toward dopaminergic-neurons and further, if the difference is reflected in a differential expression of sonic-hedgehog (SHH)-receptors and basal-expressions of tyrosine-hydroxylase [TH; through cAMP levels]. Human SHED and DPSCs were exposed to midbrain-cues [SHH, fibroblast growth-factor8, and basic fibroblast growth-factor], and their molecular, immunophenotypical, and functional characterization was performed at different time-points of induction. Though SHED and DPSCs spontaneously expressed early-neuronal and neural-crest marker in their naïve state, only SHED expressed a high basal-expression of TH. The upregulation of dopaminergic transcription-factors Nurr1, Engrailed1, and Pitx3 was more pronounced in DPSCs. The yield of TH-expressing cells decreased from 49.8% to 32.16% in SHED while it increased from 8.09% to 77.47% in DPSCs. Dopamine release and intracellular-Ca(2+) influx upon stimulation (KCl and ATP) was higher in induced DPSCs. Significantly lower-expression of SHH-receptors was noted in naïve SHED than DPSCs, which may explain the differential neuronal plasticity. In addition, unlike DPSCs, SHED showed a down-regulation of cyclic adenosine-monophosphate (cAMP) upon exposure to SHH; possibly another contributor to the lesser differentiation-potential. Our data clearly demonstrates for the first time that DPSCs possess superior neuronal plasticity toward dopaminergic-neurons than SHED; influenced by higher SHH-receptor and lower basal TH expression. J. Cell. Physiol. 231: 2048-2063, 2016. © 2016

  6. Remote control of induced dopaminergic neurons in parkinsonian rats

    PubMed Central

    Dell’Anno, Maria Teresa; Caiazzo, Massimiliano; Leo, Damiana; Dvoretskova, Elena; Medrihan, Lucian; Colasante, Gaia; Giannelli, Serena; Theka, Ilda; Russo, Giovanni; Mus, Liudmila; Pezzoli, Gianni; Gainetdinov, Raul R.; Benfenati, Fabio; Taverna, Stefano; Dityatev, Alexander; Broccoli, Vania

    2014-01-01

    Direct lineage reprogramming through genetic-based strategies enables the conversion of differentiated somatic cells into functional neurons and distinct neuronal subtypes. Induced dopaminergic (iDA) neurons can be generated by direct conversion of skin fibroblasts; however, their in vivo phenotypic and functional properties remain incompletely understood, leaving their impact on Parkinson’s disease (PD) cell therapy and modeling uncertain. Here, we determined that iDA neurons retain a transgene-independent stable phenotype in culture and in animal models. Furthermore, transplanted iDA neurons functionally integrated into host neuronal tissue, exhibiting electrically excitable membranes, synaptic currents, dopamine release, and substantial reduction of motor symptoms in a PD animal model. Neuronal cell replacement approaches will benefit from a system that allows the activity of transplanted neurons to be controlled remotely and enables modulation depending on the physiological needs of the recipient; therefore, we adapted a DREADD (designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drug) technology for remote and real-time control of grafted iDA neuronal activity in living animals. Remote DREADD-dependent iDA neuron activation markedly enhanced the beneficial effects in transplanted PD animals. These data suggest that iDA neurons have therapeutic potential as a cell replacement approach for PD and highlight the applicability of pharmacogenetics for enhancing cellular signaling in reprogrammed cell–based approaches. PMID:24937431

  7. Immortalization of neuronal progenitors using SV40 large T antigen and differentiation towards dopaminergic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Alwin Prem Anand, A; Gowri Sankar, S; Kokila Vani, V

    2012-01-01

    Transplantation is common in clinical practice where there is availability of the tissue and organ. In the case of neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson's disease (PD), transplantation is not possible as a result of the non-availability of tissue or organ and therefore, cell therapy is an innovation in clinical practice. However, the availability of neuronal cells for transplantation is very limited. Alternatively, immortalized neuronal progenitors could be used in treating PD. The neuronal progenitor cells can be differentiated into dopaminergic phenotype. Here in this article, the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the differentiation of dopaminergic phenotype from the neuronal progenitors immortalized with SV40 LT antigen is discussed. In addition, the methods of generating dopaminergic neurons from progenitor cells and the factors that govern their differentiation are elaborated. Recent advances in cell-therapy based transplantation in PD patients and future prospects are discussed. PMID:22863662

  8. Dorsal Striatal-Midbrain Connectivity in Humans Predicts How Reinforcements Are Used to Guide Decisions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kahnt, Thorsten; Park, Soyoung Q.; Cohen, Michael X.; Beck, Anne; Heinz, Andreas; Wrase, Jana

    2009-01-01

    It has been suggested that the target areas of dopaminergic midbrain neurons, the dorsal (DS) and ventral striatum (VS), are differently involved in reinforcement learning especially as actor and critic. Whereas the critic learns to predict rewards, the actor maintains action values to guide future decisions. The different midbrain connections to…

  9. Parthanatos Mediates AIMP2 Activated Age Dependent Dopaminergic Neuronal Loss

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Yunjong; Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar S.; Shin, Joo-Ho; Lee, Yun-Il; Ko, Han Seok; Swing, Debbie; Jiang, Haisong; Kang, Sung-Ung; Lee, Byoung Dae; Kang, Ho Chul; Kim, Donghoon; Tessarollo, Lino; Dawson, Valina L.; Dawson, Ted M.

    2013-01-01

    The defining pathogenic feature of Parkinson’s disease is the age dependent loss of dopaminergic neurons. Mutations and inactivation of parkin, an ubiquitin E3 ligase, cause Parkinson’s disease through accumulation of pathogenic substrates. Here we show that transgenic overexpression of the parkin substrate, aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase complex interacting multifunctional protein-2 (AIMP2) leads to a selective, age-dependent progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons via activation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP1). AIMP2 accumulation in vitro and in vivo results in PARP1 overactivation and dopaminergic cell toxicity via direct association of these proteins in the nucleus providing a new path to PARP1 activation other than DNA damage. Inhibition of PARP1 through gene deletion or drug inhibition reverses behavioral deficits and protects in vivo against dopamine neuron death in AIMP2 transgenic mice. These data indicate that brain permeable PARP inhibitors could be effective in delaying or preventing disease progression in Parkinson’s disease. PMID:23974709

  10. Sex-dependent diversity in ventral tegmental dopaminergic neurons and developmental programing: A molecular, cellular and behavioral analysis.

    PubMed

    Gillies, G E; Virdee, K; McArthur, S; Dalley, J W

    2014-12-12

    The knowledge that diverse populations of dopaminergic neurons within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) can be distinguished in terms of their molecular, electrophysiological and functional properties, as well as their differential projections to cortical and subcortical regions has significance for key brain functions, such as the regulation of motivation, working memory and sensorimotor control. Almost without exception, this understanding has evolved from landmark studies performed in the male sex. However, converging evidence from both clinical and pre-clinical studies illustrates that the structure and functioning of the VTA dopaminergic systems are intrinsically different in males and females. This may be driven by sex differences in the hormonal environment during adulthood ('activational' effects) and development (perinatal and/or pubertal 'organizational' effects), as well as genetic factors, especially the SRY gene on the Y chromosome in males, which is expressed in a sub-population of adult midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Stress and stress hormones, especially glucocorticoids, are important factors which interact with the VTA dopaminergic systems in order to achieve behavioral adaptation and enable the individual to cope with environmental change. Here, also, there is male/female diversity not only during adulthood, but also in early life when neurobiological programing by stress or glucocorticoid exposure differentially impacts dopaminergic developmental trajectories in male and female brains. This may have enduring consequences for individual resilience or susceptibility to pathophysiological change induced by stressors in later life, with potential translational significance for sex bias commonly found in disorders involving dysfunction of the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic systems. These findings highlight the urgent need for a better understanding of the sexual dimorphism in the VTA if we are to improve strategies for the prevention and treatment of

  11. Sex-dependent diversity in ventral tegmental dopaminergic neurons and developmental programing: A molecular, cellular and behavioral analysis

    PubMed Central

    Gillies, G.E.; Virdee, K.; McArthur, S.; Dalley, J.W.

    2014-01-01

    The knowledge that diverse populations of dopaminergic neurons within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) can be distinguished in terms of their molecular, electrophysiological and functional properties, as well as their differential projections to cortical and subcortical regions has significance for key brain functions, such as the regulation of motivation, working memory and sensorimotor control. Almost without exception, this understanding has evolved from landmark studies performed in the male sex. However, converging evidence from both clinical and pre-clinical studies illustrates that the structure and functioning of the VTA dopaminergic systems are intrinsically different in males and females. This may be driven by sex differences in the hormonal environment during adulthood (‘activational’ effects) and development (perinatal and/or pubertal ‘organizational’ effects), as well as genetic factors, especially the SRY gene on the Y chromosome in males, which is expressed in a sub-population of adult midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Stress and stress hormones, especially glucocorticoids, are important factors which interact with the VTA dopaminergic systems in order to achieve behavioral adaptation and enable the individual to cope with environmental change. Here, also, there is male/female diversity not only during adulthood, but also in early life when neurobiological programing by stress or glucocorticoid exposure differentially impacts dopaminergic developmental trajectories in male and female brains. This may have enduring consequences for individual resilience or susceptibility to pathophysiological change induced by stressors in later life, with potential translational significance for sex bias commonly found in disorders involving dysfunction of the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic systems. These findings highlight the urgent need for a better understanding of the sexual dimorphism in the VTA if we are to improve strategies for the prevention and

  12. Hyperpolarizing inhibition develops without trophic support by GABA in cultured rat midbrain neurons.

    PubMed

    Titz, Stefan; Hans, Michael; Kelsch, Wolfgang; Lewen, Andrea; Swandulla, Dieter; Misgeld, Ulrich

    2003-08-01

    During a limited period of early neuronal development, GABA is depolarizing and elevates [Ca2+]i, which mediates the trophic action of GABA in neuronal maturation. We tested the attractive hypothesis that GABA itself promotes the developmental change of its response from depolarizing to hyperpolarizing (Ganguly et al. 2001). In cultured midbrain neurons we found that the GABA response changed from depolarizing to hyperpolarizing, although GABAA receptors had been blocked throughout development. In immature neurons prolonged exposure of the cells to nanomolar concentrations of GABA or brief repetitive applications of GABA strongly diminished the elevation of [Ca+]i by GABA. As revealed by gramicidin perforated-patch recording, reduced [Ca2+]i responses were due to a diminished driving force for Cl-. This suggests that immature neurons do not have an efficient inward transport that can compensate the loss of cytosolic Cl-resulting from sustained GABAA receptor activation by ambient GABA. Transient increases in external K+, which can induce voltage-dependent Cl- entry, restored GABA-induced [Ca2+]i elevations. In mature neurons, GABA reduced [Ca2+]i provided that background [Ca2+]i was elevated by the application of an L-type Ca2+ channel agonist. This was probably due to a hyperpolarization of the membrane by Cl- currents. K(+)-Cl- cotransport maintained the gradient for hyperpolarizing Cl-currents. We conclude that in immature midbrain neurons an inward Cl- transport is not effective although the GABA response is depolarizing. Further, GABA itself is not required for the developmental switch of GABAergic responses from depolarizing to hyperpolarizing in cultured midbrain neurons.

  13. Hyperpolarizing Inhibition Develops without Trophic support by GABA in Cultured Rat Midbrain Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Titz, Stefan; Hans, Michael; Kelsch, Wolfgang; Lewen, Andrea; Swandulla, Dieter; Misgeld, Ulrich

    2003-01-01

    During a limited period of early neuronal development, GABA is depolarizing and elevates [Ca2+]i, which mediates the trophic action of GABA in neuronal maturation. We tested the attractive hypothesis that GABA itself promotes the developmental change of its response from depolarizing to hyperpolarizing (Ganguly et al. 2001). In cultured midbrain neurons we found that the GABA response changed from depolarizing to hyperpolarizing, although GABAA receptors had been blocked throughout development. In immature neurons prolonged exposure of the cells to nanomolar concentrations of GABA or brief repetitive applications of GABA strongly diminished the elevation of [Ca2+]i by GABA. As revealed by gramicidin perforated-patch recording, reduced [Ca2+]i responses were due to a diminished driving force for Cl−. This suggests that immature neurons do not have an efficient inward transport that can compensate the loss of cytosolic Cl− resulting from sustained GABAA receptor activation by ambient GABA. Transient increases in external K+, which can induce voltage-dependent Cl− entry, restored GABA-induced [Ca2+]i elevations. In mature neurons, GABA reduced [Ca2+]i provided that background [Ca2+]i was elevated by the application of an L-type Ca2+ channel agonist. This was probably due to a hyperpolarization of the membrane by Cl− currents. K+-Cl− cotransport maintained the gradient for hyperpolarizing Cl− currents. We conclude that in immature midbrain neurons an inward Cl− transport is not effective although the GABA response is depolarizing. Further, GABA itself is not required for the developmental switch of GABAergic responses from depolarizing to hyperpolarizing in cultured midbrain neurons. PMID:12938674

  14. Task-load-dependent activation of dopaminergic midbrain areas in the absence of reward.

    PubMed

    Boehler, Carsten N; Hopf, Jens-Max; Krebs, Ruth M; Stoppel, Christian M; Schoenfeld, Mircea A; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Noesselt, Toemme

    2011-03-30

    Dopamine release in cortical and subcortical structures plays a central role in reward-related neural processes. Within this context, dopaminergic inputs are commonly assumed to play an activating role, facilitating behavioral and cognitive operations necessary to obtain a prospective reward. Here, we provide evidence from human fMRI that this activating role can also be mediated by task-demand-related processes and thus extends beyond situations that only entail extrinsic motivating factors. Using a visual discrimination task in which varying levels of task demands were precued, we found enhanced hemodynamic activity in the substantia nigra (SN) for high task demands in the absence of reward or similar extrinsic motivating factors. This observation thus indicates that the SN can also be activated in an endogenous fashion. In parallel to its role in reward-related processes, reward-independent activation likely serves to recruit the processing resources needed to meet enhanced task demands. Simultaneously, activity in a wide network of cortical and subcortical control regions was enhanced in response to high task demands, whereas areas of the default-mode network were deactivated more strongly. The present observations suggest that the SN represents a core node within a broader neural network that adjusts the amount of available neural and behavioral resources to changing situational opportunities and task requirements, which is often driven by extrinsic factors but can also be controlled endogenously.

  15. The effect of multivalent Sonic hedgehog on differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into dopaminergic and GABAergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Vazin, Tandis; Ashton, Randolph S; Conway, Anthony; Rode, Nikhil A; Lee, Susan M; Bravo, Verenice; Healy, Kevin E; Kane, Ravi S; Schaffer, David V

    2014-01-01

    Stem cell differentiation is regulated by complex repertoires of signaling ligands which often use multivalent interactions, where multiple ligands tethered to one entity interact with multiple cellular receptors to yield oligomeric complexes. One such ligand is Sonic hedgehog (Shh), whose posttranslational lipid modifications and assembly into multimers enhance its biological potency, potentially through receptor clustering. Investigations of Shh typically utilize recombinant, monomeric protein, and thus the impact of multivalency on ligand potency is unexplored. Among its many activities, Shh is required for ventralization of the midbrain and forebrain and is therefore critical for the development of midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) and forebrain gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) inhibitory neurons. We have designed multivalent biomaterials presenting Shh in defined spatial arrangements and investigated the role of Shh valency in ventral specification of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) into these therapeutically relevant cell types. Multivalent Shh conjugates with optimal valencies, compared to the monomeric Shh, increased the percentages of neurons belonging to mDA or forebrain GABAergic fates from 33% to 60% or 52% to 86%, respectively. Thus, multivalent Shh bioconjugates can enhance neuronal lineage commitment of pluripotent stem cells and thereby facilitate efficient derivation of neurons that could be used to treat Parkinson's and epilepsy patients.

  16. Smoking-Relevant Nicotine Concentration Attenuates the Unfolded Protein Response in Dopaminergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasan, Rahul; Henley, Beverley M.; Henderson, Brandon J.; Indersmitten, Tim; Cohen, Bruce N.; Kim, Charlene H.; McKinney, Sheri; Deshpande, Purnima; Xiao, Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Retrospective epidemiological studies show an inverse correlation between susceptibility to Parkinson's disease and a person's history of tobacco use. Animal model studies suggest nicotine as a neuroprotective agent and nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors (nAChRs) as targets for neuroprotection, but the underlying neuroprotective mechanism(s) are unknown. We cultured mouse ventral midbrain neurons for 3 weeks. Ten to 20% of neurons were dopaminergic (DA), revealed by tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactivity. We evoked mild endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress with tunicamycin (Tu), producing modest increases in the level of nuclear ATF6, phosphorylated eukaryotic initiation factor 2α, nuclear XBP1, and the downstream proapoptotic effector nuclear C/EBP homologous protein. We incubated cultures for 2 weeks with 200 nm nicotine, the approximate steady-state concentration between cigarette smoking or vaping, or during nicotine patch use. Nicotine incubation suppressed Tu-induced ER stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR). Study of mice with fluorescent nAChR subunits showed that the cultured TH+ neurons displayed α4, α6, and β3 nAChR subunit expression and ACh-evoked currents. Gene expression profile in cultures from TH-eGFP mice showed that the TH+ neurons also express several other genes associated with DA release. Nicotine also upregulated ACh-induced currents in DA neurons by ∼2.5-fold. Thus, nicotine, at a concentration too low to activate an appreciable fraction of plasma membrane nAChRs, induces two sequelae of pharmacological chaperoning in the ER: UPR suppression and nAChR upregulation. Therefore, one mechanism of neuroprotection by nicotine is pharmacological chaperoning, leading to UPR suppression. Measuring this pathway may help in assessing neuroprotection. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Parkinson's disease (PD) cannot yet be cured or prevented. However, many retrospective epidemiological studies reveal that PD is diagnosed less frequently in

  17. Menthol Alone Upregulates Midbrain nAChRs, Alters nAChR Subtype Stoichiometry, Alters Dopamine Neuron Firing Frequency, and Prevents Nicotine Reward

    PubMed Central

    Henderson, Brandon J.; Wall, Teagan R.; Henley, Beverley M.; Kim, Charlene H.; Nichols, Weston A.; Moaddel, Ruin; Xiao, Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Upregulation of β2 subunit-containing (β2*) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) is implicated in several aspects of nicotine addiction, and menthol cigarette smokers tend to upregulate β2* nAChRs more than nonmenthol cigarette smokers. We investigated the effect of long-term menthol alone on midbrain neurons containing nAChRs. In midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons from mice containing fluorescent nAChR subunits, menthol alone increased the number of α4 and α6 nAChR subunits, but this upregulation did not occur in midbrain GABAergic neurons. Thus, chronic menthol produces a cell-type-selective upregulation of α4* nAChRs, complementing that of chronic nicotine alone, which upregulates α4 subunit-containing (α4*) nAChRs in GABAergic but not DA neurons. In mouse brain slices and cultured midbrain neurons, menthol reduced DA neuron firing frequency and altered DA neuron excitability following nAChR activation. Furthermore, menthol exposure before nicotine abolished nicotine reward-related behavior in mice. In neuroblastoma cells transfected with fluorescent nAChR subunits, exposure to 500 nm menthol alone also increased nAChR number and favored the formation of (α4)3(β2)2 nAChRs; this contrasts with the action of nicotine itself, which favors (α4)2(β2)3 nAChRs. Menthol alone also increases the number of α6β2 receptors that exclude the β3 subunit. Thus, menthol stabilizes lower-sensitivity α4* and α6 subunit-containing nAChRs, possibly by acting as a chemical chaperone. The abolition of nicotine reward-related behavior may be mediated through menthol's ability to stabilize lower-sensitivity nAChRs and alter DA neuron excitability. We conclude that menthol is more than a tobacco flavorant: administered alone chronically, it alters midbrain DA neurons of the nicotine reward-related pathway. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Menthol, the most popular flavorant for tobacco products, has been considered simply a benign flavor additive. However, as we show here

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Activin A Inhibits MPTP and LPS-Induced Increases in Inflammatory Cell Populations and Loss of Dopamine Neurons in the Mouse Midbrain In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Stayte, Sandy; Rentsch, Peggy; Tröscher, Anna R.; Bamberger, Maximilian; Li, Kong M.; Vissel, Bryce

    2017-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease characterized by a significant loss of dopaminergic neurons within the substantia nigra pars compacta region and a subsequent loss of dopamine within the striatum. A promising avenue of research has been the administration of growth factors to promote the survival of remaining midbrain neurons, although the mechanism by which they provide neuroprotection is not understood. Activin A, a member of the transforming growth factor β superfamily, has been shown to be a potent anti-inflammatory following acute brain injury and has been demonstrated to play a role in the neuroprotection of midbrain neurons against MPP+-induced degeneration in vitro. We hypothesized that activin A may offer similar anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in in vivo mouse models of Parkinson’s disease. We found that activin A significantly attenuated the inflammatory response induced by both MPTP and intranigral administration of lipopolysaccharide in C57BL/6 mice. We found that administration of activin A promoted survival of dopaminergic and total neuron populations in the pars compacta region both 8 days and 8 weeks after MPTP-induced degeneration. Surprisingly, no corresponding protection of striatal dopamine levels was found. Furthermore, activin A failed to protect against loss of striatal dopamine transporter expression in the striatum, suggesting the neuroprotective action of activin A may be localized to the substantia nigra. Together, these results provide the first evidence that activin A exerts potent neuroprotection and anti-inflammatory effects in the MPTP and lipopolysaccharide mouse models of Parkinson’s disease. PMID:28121982

  3. Functional properties of dopaminergic neurones in the mouse olfactory bulb

    PubMed Central

    Pignatelli, Angela; Kobayashi, Kazuto; Okano, Hideyuki; Belluzzi, Ottorino

    2005-01-01

    The olfactory bulb of mammals contains a large population of dopaminergic interneurones within the glomerular layer. Dopamine has been shown both in vivo and in vitro to modulate several aspects of olfactory information processing, but the functional properties of dopaminergic neurones have never been described due to the inability to recognize these cells in living preparations. To overcome this difficulty, we used a transgenic mouse strain harbouring an eGFP (enhanced green fluorescent protein) reporter construct under the promoter of tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme for cathecolamine synthesis. As a result, we were able to identify dopaminergic neurones (TH-GFP cells) in living preparations and, for the first time, we could study the functional properties of such neurones in the olfactory bulb, in both slices and dissociated cells. The most prominent feature of these cells was the autorhythmicity. In these cells we identified five main voltage-dependent conductances: the two having largest amplitude were a fast transient Na+ current and a delayed rectifier K+ current. In addition, we observed three smaller inward currents, sustained by Na+ ions (persistent type) and by Ca2+ ions (LVA and HVA). Using pharmacological tools and ion substitution methods we showed that the pacemaking process is supported by the interplay of the persistent Na+ current and of a T-type Ca2+ current. We carried out a complete kinetical analysis of the five conductances present in these cells, and developed a Hodgkin-Huxley model of TH-GFP cells, capable of reproducing accurately the properties of living cells, including autorhytmicity, and allowing a precise understanding of the process. PMID:15731185

  4. Temporally selective processing of communication signals by auditory midbrain neurons

    PubMed Central

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Kelley, Darcy B.

    2011-01-01

    Perception of the temporal structure of acoustic signals contributes critically to vocal signaling. In the aquatic clawed frog Xenopus laevis, calls differ primarily in the temporal parameter of click rate, which conveys sexual identity and reproductive state. We show here that an ensemble of auditory neurons in the laminar nucleus of the torus semicircularis (TS) of X. laevis specializes in encoding vocalization click rates. We recorded single TS units while pure tones, natural calls, and synthetic clicks were presented directly to the tympanum via a vibration-stimulation probe. Synthesized click rates ranged from 4 to 50 Hz, the rate at which the clicks begin to overlap. Frequency selectivity and temporal processing were characterized using response-intensity curves, temporal-discharge patterns, and autocorrelations of reduplicated responses to click trains. Characteristic frequencies ranged from 140 to 3,250 Hz, with minimum thresholds of −90 dB re 1 mm/s at 500 Hz and −76 dB at 1,100 Hz near the dominant frequency of female clicks. Unlike units in the auditory nerve and dorsal medullary nucleus, most toral units respond selectively to the behaviorally relevant temporal feature of the rate of clicks in calls. The majority of neurons (85%) were selective for click rates, and this selectivity remained unchanged over sound levels 10 to 20 dB above threshold. Selective neurons give phasic, tonic, or adapting responses to tone bursts and click trains. Some algorithms that could compute temporally selective receptive fields are described. PMID:21289132

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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).

  8. A basal ganglia pathway drives selective auditory responses in songbird dopaminergic neurons via disinhibition.

    PubMed

    Gale, Samuel D; Perkel, David J

    2010-01-20

    Dopaminergic neurons in mammals respond to rewards and reward-predicting cues, and are thought to play an important role in learning actions or sensory cues that lead to reward. The anatomical sources of input that drive or modulate such responses are not well understood; these ultimately define the range of behavior to which dopaminergic neurons contribute. Primary rewards are not the immediate objective of all goal-directed behavior. For example, a goal of vocal learning is to imitate vocal-communication signals. Here, we demonstrate activation of dopaminergic neurons in songbirds driven by a basal ganglia region required for vocal learning, area X. Dopaminergic neurons in anesthetized zebra finches respond more strongly to the bird's own song (BOS) than to other sounds, and area X is critical for these responses. Direct pharmacological modulation of area X output, in the absence of auditory stimulation, is sufficient to bidirectionally modulate the firing rate of dopaminergic neurons. The only known pathway from song control regions to dopaminergic neurons involves a projection from area X to the ventral pallidum (VP), which in turn projects to dopaminergic regions. We show that VP neurons are spontaneously active and inhibited preferentially by BOS, suggesting that area X disinhibits dopaminergic neurons by inhibiting VP. Supporting this model, auditory-response latencies are shorter in area X than VP, and shorter in VP than dopaminergic neurons. Thus, dopaminergic neurons can be disinhibited selectively by complex sensory stimuli via input from the basal ganglia. The functional pathway we identify may allow dopaminergic neurons to contribute to vocal learning.

  9. Inhibition of the leucine-rich repeat protein LINGO-1 enhances survival, structure, and function of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease models.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Haruhisa; Lin, Ling; Lee, Xinhua; Shao, Zhaohui; Mendes, Shannon; Snodgrass-Belt, Pamela; Sweigard, Harry; Engber, Tom; Pepinsky, Blake; Yang, Lichuan; Beal, M Flint; Mi, Sha; Isacson, Ole

    2007-09-04

    The nervous system-specific leucine-rich repeat Ig-containing protein LINGO-1 is associated with the Nogo-66 receptor complex and is endowed with a canonical EGF receptor (EGFR)-like tyrosine phosphorylation site. Our studies indicate that LINGO-1 expression is elevated in the substantia nigra of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients compared with age-matched controls and in animal models of PD after neurotoxic lesions. LINGO-1 expression is present in midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the human and rodent brain. Therefore, the role of LINGO-1 in cell damage responses of DA neurons was examined in vitro and in experimental models of PD induced by either oxidative (6-hydroxydopamine) or mitochondrial (N-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) toxicity. In LINGO-1 knockout mice, DA neuron survival was increased and behavioral abnormalities were reduced compared with WT. This neuroprotection was accompanied by increased Akt phosphorylation (p-Akt). Similar neuroprotective in vivo effects on midbrain DA neurons were obtained in WT mice by blocking LINGO-1 activity using LINGO-1-Fc protein. Neuroprotection and enhanced neurite growth were also demonstrated for midbrain DA neurons in vitro. LINGO-1 antagonists (LINGO-1-Fc, dominant negative LINGO-1, and anti-LINGO-1 antibody) improved DA neuron survival in response to MPP+ in part by mechanisms that involve activation of the EGFR/Akt signaling pathway through a direct inhibition of LINGO-1's binding to EGFR. These results show that inhibitory agents of LINGO-1 activity can protect DA neurons against degeneration and indicate a role for the leucine-rich repeat protein LINGO-1 and related classes of proteins in the pathophysiological responses of midbrain DA neurons in PD.

  10. Inhibition of microglial activation by the herbal flavonoid baicalein attenuates inflammation-mediated degeneration of dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Li, F-Q; Wang, T; Pei, Z; Liu, B; Hong, J-S

    2005-03-01

    Accumulating evidence has suggested that inflammation in the brain participates in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). Therefore, anti-inflammatory therapy has attracted much attention as novel interference to neurodegenerative diseases. Baicalein, a major flavonoid extracted from a traditional Chinese herb Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (Huangqin), possesses potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. To test the potential neuroprotective effect of baicalein on dopaminergic neurons, primary midbrain neuron-glia cultures from E-14 rat embryos were used. Cultures were pretreated with baicalein for 30 min prior to stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 10 ng/ml). LPS leads to massive activation of microglial cells revealed by OX-42 immunostaining, and produced excessive quantities of NO. Excessive elevation of superoxide level was also observed in enriched-microglia after stimulating with LPS. LPS-induced damage to dopaminergic neurons was evaluated by uptake capacity for [3H]dopamine and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-immunocytochemistry. Pretreatment with baicalein concentration-dependently attenuated LPS-induced decrease in [3H]dopamine uptake and loss of TH-immunoreactive (TH-ir) neurons, which the maximum protective effect was observed at the concentration of 5 microM. Post-treatment with baicalein (5 microM) was also shown to be effective even if baicalein administered up to 2 h later than LPS application. Morphological study shows that baicalein (5 microM) almost completely blocked LPS-induced activation of microglia. Excessive production of TNF(alpha) and free radicals such as NO and superoxide by LPS stimulation were also attenuated by baicalein at a concentration-dependent pattern. The present study indicates that baicalein exerts potent neuroprotective effect on LPS-induced injury of dopaminergic neurons. We hypothesize that the inhibition of LPS-induced production of NO and free radicals from microglia may underlie the mechanism of

  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. Prokineticin-2 upregulation during neuronal injury mediates a compensatory protective response against dopaminergic neuronal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Richard; Neal, Matthew L.; Luo, Jie; Langley, Monica R.; Harischandra, Dilshan S.; Panicker, Nikhil; Charli, Adhithiya; Jin, Huajun; Anantharam, Vellareddy; Woodruff, Trent M.; Zhou, Qun-Yong; Kanthasamy, Anumantha G.; Kanthasamy, Arthi

    2016-01-01

    Prokineticin-2 (PK2), a recently discovered secreted protein, regulates important physiological functions including olfactory biogenesis and circadian rhythms in the CNS. Interestingly, although PK2 expression is low in the nigral system, its receptors are constitutively expressed on nigrostriatal neurons. Herein, we demonstrate that PK2 expression is highly induced in nigral dopaminergic neurons during early stages of degeneration in multiple models of Parkinson's disease (PD), including PK2 reporter mice and MitoPark mice. Functional studies demonstrate that PK2 promotes mitochondrial biogenesis and activates ERK and Akt survival signalling pathways, thereby driving neuroprotection. Importantly, PK2 overexpression is protective whereas PK2 receptor antagonism exacerbates dopaminergic degeneration in experimental PD. Furthermore, PK2 expression increased in surviving nigral dopaminergic neurons from PD brains, indicating that PK2 upregulation is clinically relevant to human PD. Collectively, our results identify a paradigm for compensatory neuroprotective PK2 signalling in nigral dopaminergic neurons that could have important therapeutic implications for PD. PMID:27703142

  13. Selective increase of in vivo firing frequencies in DA SN neurons after proteasome inhibition in the ventral midbrain.

    PubMed

    Subramaniam, Mahalakshmi; Kern, Beatrice; Vogel, Simone; Klose, Verena; Schneider, Gaby; Roeper, Jochen

    2014-09-01

    The impairment of protein degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is present in sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD), and might play a key role in selective degeneration of vulnerable dopamine (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SN). Further evidence for a causal role of dysfunctional UPS in familial PD comes from mutations in parkin, which results in a loss of function of an E3-ubiquitin-ligase. In a mouse model, genetic inactivation of an essential component of the 26S proteasome lead to widespread neuronal degeneration including DA midbrain neurons and the formation of alpha-synuclein-positive inclusion bodies, another hallmark of PD. Studies using pharmacological UPS inhibition in vivo had more mixed results, varying from extensive degeneration to no loss of DA SN neurons. However, it is currently unknown whether UPS impairment will affect the neurophysiological functions of DA midbrain neurons. To answer this question, we infused a selective proteasome inhibitor into the ventral midbrain in vivo and recorded single DA midbrain neurons 2 weeks after the proteasome challenge. We found a selective increase in the mean in vivo firing frequencies of identified DA SN neurons in anesthetized mice, while those in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) were unaffected. Our results demonstrate that a single-hit UPS inhibition is sufficient to induce a stable and selective hyperexcitability phenotype in surviving DA SN neurons in vivo. This might imply that UPS dysfunction sensitizes DA SN neurons by enhancing 'stressful pacemaking'.

  14. Electric signals regulate directional migration of ventral midbrain derived dopaminergic neural progenitor cells via Wnt/GSK3β signaling.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jia; Zhu, Bangfu; Zhang, Gaofeng; Wang, Jian; Tian, Weiming; Ju, Gong; Wei, Xiaoqing; Song, Bing

    2015-01-01

    Neural progenitor cell (NPC) replacement therapy is a promising treatment for neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's disease (PD). It requires a controlled directional migration and integration of NPCs, for example dopaminergic (DA) progenitor cells, into the damaged host brain tissue. There is, however, only limited understanding of how to regulate the directed migration of NPCs to the diseased or damaged brain tissues for repair and regeneration. The aims of this study are to explore the possibility of using a physiological level of electrical stimulation to regulate the directed migration of ventral midbrain NPCs (NPCs(vm)), and to investigate their potential regulation via GSK3β and associated downstream effectors. We tested the effects of direct-current (DC) electric fields (EFs) on the migration behavior of the NPCs(vm). A DC EF induced directional cell migration toward the cathode, namely electrotaxis. Reversal of the EF polarity triggered a sharp reversal of the NPC(vm) electrotaxis. The electrotactic response was both time and EF voltage dependent. Pharmacologically inhibiting the canonical Wnt/GSK3β pathway significantly reduced the electrotactic response of NPCs(vm), which is associated with the down-regulation of GSK3β phosphorylation, β-catenin activation and CLASP2 expression. This was further proved by RNA interference of GSK3β, which also showed a significantly reduced electrotactic response in association with reduced β-catenin activation and CLASP2 expression. In comparison, RNA interference of β-catenin slightly reduced electrotactic response and CLASP2 expression. Both pharmacological inhibition of Wnt/GSK3β and RNA interference of GSK3β/β-catenin clearly reduced the asymmetric redistribution of CLASP2 and its co-localization with α-tubulin. These results suggest that Wnt/GSK3β signaling contributes to the electrotactic response of NPCs(vm) through the coordination of GSK3β phosphorylation, β-catenin activation, CLASP2

  15. Semaphorin 3C Released from a Biocompatible Hydrogel Guides and Promotes Axonal Growth of Rodent and Human Dopaminergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Carballo-Molina, Oscar A.; Sánchez-Navarro, Andrea; López-Ornelas, Adolfo; Lara-Rodarte, Rolando; Salazar, Patricia; Campos-Romo, Aurelio; Ramos-Mejía, Verónica

    2016-01-01

    Cell therapy in experimental models of Parkinson's disease replaces the lost dopamine neurons (DAN), but we still need improved methods to guide dopaminergic axons (DAx) of grafted neurons to make proper connections. The protein Semaphorin 3C (Sema3C) attracts DAN axons and enhances their growth. In this work, we show that the hydrogel PuraMatrix, a self-assembling peptide-based matrix, incorporates Sema3C and releases it steadily during 4 weeks. We also tested if hydrogel-delivered Sema3C attracts DAx using a system of rat midbrain explants embedded in collagen gels. We show that Sema3C released by this hydrogel attracts DAx, in a similar way to pretectum, which is known to attract growing DAN axons. We assessed the effect of Sema3C on the growth of DAx using microfluidic devices. DAN from rat midbrain or those differentiated from human embryonic stem cells showed enhanced axonal extension when exposed to hydrogel-released Sema3C, similar to soluble Sema3C. Notably, DAN of human origin express the cognate Sema3C receptors, Neuropilin1 and Neuropilin2. These results show that PuraMatrix is able to incorporate and release Sema3C, and such delivery guides and promotes the axonal growth of DAN. This biocompatible hydrogel might be useful as a Sema3C carrier for in vivo studies in parkinsonian animal models. PMID:27174503

  16. Semaphorin 3C Released from a Biocompatible Hydrogel Guides and Promotes Axonal Growth of Rodent and Human Dopaminergic Neurons.

    PubMed

    Carballo-Molina, Oscar A; Sánchez-Navarro, Andrea; López-Ornelas, Adolfo; Lara-Rodarte, Rolando; Salazar, Patricia; Campos-Romo, Aurelio; Ramos-Mejía, Verónica; Velasco, Iván

    2016-06-01

    Cell therapy in experimental models of Parkinson's disease replaces the lost dopamine neurons (DAN), but we still need improved methods to guide dopaminergic axons (DAx) of grafted neurons to make proper connections. The protein Semaphorin 3C (Sema3C) attracts DAN axons and enhances their growth. In this work, we show that the hydrogel PuraMatrix, a self-assembling peptide-based matrix, incorporates Sema3C and releases it steadily during 4 weeks. We also tested if hydrogel-delivered Sema3C attracts DAx using a system of rat midbrain explants embedded in collagen gels. We show that Sema3C released by this hydrogel attracts DAx, in a similar way to pretectum, which is known to attract growing DAN axons. We assessed the effect of Sema3C on the growth of DAx using microfluidic devices. DAN from rat midbrain or those differentiated from human embryonic stem cells showed enhanced axonal extension when exposed to hydrogel-released Sema3C, similar to soluble Sema3C. Notably, DAN of human origin express the cognate Sema3C receptors, Neuropilin1 and Neuropilin2. These results show that PuraMatrix is able to incorporate and release Sema3C, and such delivery guides and promotes the axonal growth of DAN. This biocompatible hydrogel might be useful as a Sema3C carrier for in vivo studies in parkinsonian animal models.

  17. Fetal exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin transactivates aryl hydrocarbon receptor-responsive element III in the tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive neurons of the mouse midbrain.

    PubMed

    Tanida, Takashi; Tasaka, Ken; Akahoshi, Eiichi; Ishihara-Sugano, Mitsuko; Saito, Michiko; Kawata, Shigehisa; Danjo, Megumi; Tokumoto, Junko; Mantani, Youhei; Nagahara, Daichi; Tabuchi, Yoshiaki; Yokoyama, Toshifumi; Kitagawa, Hiroshi; Kawata, Mitsuhiro; Hoshi, Nobuhiko

    2014-02-01

    Fetal exposure to dioxins and related compounds is known to disrupt normal development of the midbrain dopaminergic system, which regulates behavior, cognition and emotion. The toxicity of these chemicals is mediated mainly by aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) signaling. Previously, we identified a novel binding motif of AhR, the AhR-responsive element III (AHRE-III), in vitro. This motif is located upstream from the gene encoding tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme of dopamine biosynthesis. To provide in vivo evidence, we investigated whether 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) could regulate AHRE-III transcriptional activity in midbrain dopaminergic neurons. We produced transgenic mice with inserted constructs of the AHRE-III enhancers, TH gene promoter and the c-myc-tagged luciferase gene. Single oral administrations of TCDD (0-2000 ng kg⁻¹ body weight) to the transgenic dams markedly enhanced TH-immunoreactive (ir) intensity in the A9, A10 and A8 areas of their offspring at 3 days and 8 weeks of age. The offspring of dams treated with 200 ng kg⁻¹ TCDD exhibited significant increases in the numbers of TH- and double (TH and c-myc)-ir neurons in area A9 compared with controls at 8 weeks. These results show that fetal exposure to TCDD upregulates TH expression and increases TH-ir neurons in the midbrain. Moreover, the results suggest that TCDD directly transactivates the TH promoter via the AhR-AHRE-III-mediated pathway in area A9. Fetal exposure to TCDD caused stable upregulation of TH via the AhR-AHRE-III signaling pathway and overgrowth of TH-ir neurons in the midbrain, implying possible involvement in the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

  18. In actio optophysiological analyses reveal functional diversification of dopaminergic neurons in the nematode C. elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanimoto, Yuki; Zheng, Ying Grace; Fei, Xianfeng; Fujie, Yukako; Hashimoto, Koichi; Kimura, Koutarou D.

    2016-05-01

    Many neuronal groups such as dopamine-releasing (dopaminergic) neurons are functionally divergent, although the details of such divergence are not well understood. Dopamine in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans modulates various neural functions and is released from four left-right pairs of neurons. The terminal identities of these dopaminergic neurons are regulated by the same genetic program, and previous studies have suggested that they are functionally redundant. In this study, however, we show functional divergence within the dopaminergic neurons of C. elegans. Because dopaminergic neurons of the animals were supposedly activated by mechanical stimulus upon entry into a lawn of their food bacteria, we developed a novel integrated microscope system that can auto-track a freely-moving (in actio) C. elegans to individually monitor and stimulate the neuronal activities of multiple neurons. We found that only head-dorsal pair of dopaminergic neurons (CEPD), but not head-ventral or posterior pairs, were preferentially activated upon food entry. In addition, the optogenetic activation of CEPD neurons alone exhibited effects similar to those observed upon food entry. Thus, our results demonstrated functional divergence in the genetically similar dopaminergic neurons, which may provide a new entry point toward understanding functional diversity of neurons beyond genetic terminal identification.

  19. Cellular manganese content is developmentally regulated in human dopaminergic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Kevin K.; Lowe, Jr., Edward W.; Aboud, Asad A.; Neely, M. Diana; Redha, Rey; Bauer, Joshua A.; Odak, Mihir; Weaver, C. David; Meiler, Jens; Aschner, Michael; Bowman, Aaron B.

    2014-01-01

    Manganese (Mn) is both an essential biological cofactor and neurotoxicant. Disruption of Mn biology in the basal ganglia has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders, such as parkinsonism and Huntington's disease. Handling of other essential metals (e.g. iron and zinc) occurs via complex intracellular signaling networks that link metal detection and transport systems. However, beyond several non-selective transporters, little is known about the intracellular processes regulating neuronal Mn homeostasis. We hypothesized that small molecules that modulate intracellular Mn could provide insight into cell-level Mn regulatory mechanisms. We performed a high throughput screen of 40,167 small molecules for modifiers of cellular Mn content in a mouse striatal neuron cell line. Following stringent validation assays and chemical informatics, we obtained a chemical ‘toolbox' of 41 small molecules with diverse structure-activity relationships that can alter intracellular Mn levels under biologically relevant Mn exposures. We utilized this toolbox to test for differential regulation of Mn handling in human floor-plate lineage dopaminergic neurons, a lineage especially vulnerable to environmental Mn exposure. We report differential Mn accumulation between developmental stages and stage-specific differences in the Mn-altering activity of individual small molecules. This work demonstrates cell-level regulation of Mn content across neuronal differentiation. PMID:25348053

  20. Cellular manganese content is developmentally regulated in human dopaminergic neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Kevin K.; Lowe, Edward W., Jr.; Aboud, Asad A.; Neely, M. Diana; Redha, Rey; Bauer, Joshua A.; Odak, Mihir; Weaver, C. David; Meiler, Jens; Aschner, Michael; Bowman, Aaron B.

    2014-10-01

    Manganese (Mn) is both an essential biological cofactor and neurotoxicant. Disruption of Mn biology in the basal ganglia has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders, such as parkinsonism and Huntington's disease. Handling of other essential metals (e.g. iron and zinc) occurs via complex intracellular signaling networks that link metal detection and transport systems. However, beyond several non-selective transporters, little is known about the intracellular processes regulating neuronal Mn homeostasis. We hypothesized that small molecules that modulate intracellular Mn could provide insight into cell-level Mn regulatory mechanisms. We performed a high throughput screen of 40,167 small molecules for modifiers of cellular Mn content in a mouse striatal neuron cell line. Following stringent validation assays and chemical informatics, we obtained a chemical `toolbox' of 41 small molecules with diverse structure-activity relationships that can alter intracellular Mn levels under biologically relevant Mn exposures. We utilized this toolbox to test for differential regulation of Mn handling in human floor-plate lineage dopaminergic neurons, a lineage especially vulnerable to environmental Mn exposure. We report differential Mn accumulation between developmental stages and stage-specific differences in the Mn-altering activity of individual small molecules. This work demonstrates cell-level regulation of Mn content across neuronal differentiation.

  1. Comparative study of efficacy of dopaminergic neuron differentiation between embryonic stem cell and protein-based induced pluripotent stem cell.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Yoo-Wook; Chung, Yeon-Ju; Kim, Joonoh; Lee, Ho-Jae; Park, Jihwan; Roh, Tae-Young; Cho, Hyun-Jai; Yoon, Chang-Hwan; Koo, Bon-Kwon; Kim, Hyo-Soo

    2014-01-01

    In patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), stem cells can serve as therapeutic agents to restore or regenerate injured nervous system. Here, we differentiated two types of stem cells; mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) and protein-based iPS cells (P-iPSCs) generated by non-viral methods, into midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons, and then compared the efficiency of DA neuron differentiation from these two cell types. In the undifferentiated stage, P-iPSCs expressed pluripotency markers as ES cells did, indicating that protein-based reprogramming was stable and authentic. While both stem cell types were differentiated to the terminally-matured mDA neurons, P-iPSCs showed higher DA neuron-specific markers' expression than ES cells. To investigate the mechanism of the superior induction capacity of DA neurons observed in P-iPSCs compared to ES cells, we analyzed histone modifications by genome-wide ChIP sequencing analysis and their corresponding microarray results between two cell types. We found that Wnt signaling was up-regulated, while SFRP1, a counter-acting molecule of Wnt, was more suppressed in P-iPSCs than in mESCs. In PD rat model, transplantation of neural precursor cells derived from both cell types showed improved function. The present study demonstrates that P-iPSCs could be a suitable cell source to provide patient-specific therapy for PD without ethical problems or rejection issues.

  2. An Optimized Method for Histological Detection of Dopaminergic Neurons in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Drobysheva, Daria; Ameel, Kristen; Welch, Brandon; Ellison, Esther; Chaichana, Khan; Hoang, Bryan; Sharma, Shilpy; Neckameyer, Wendi; Srinakevitch, Irina; Murphy, Kelley J.; Schmid, Aloisia

    2008-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) affects >1 million Americans and is marked by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. PD has been linked to two causative factors: genetic risks (hereditary PD) and environmental toxins (idiopathic PD). In recent years, considerable effort has been devoted to the development of a Drosophila model of human PD that might be useful for examining the cellular mechanisms of PD pathology by genetic screening. In 2000, Feany and Bender reported a Drosophila model of PD in which transgenic flies expressing human mutant α-synuclein exhibited shortened life spans, dopaminergic losses, Parkinsonian behaviors, and Lewy bodies in surviving dopaminergic neurons. Since then, a number of studies have been published that validate the model or build on it; conversely, a number report an inability to replicate the results and suggest that most protocols for dopaminergic histology underreport the actual numbers of dopaminergic neurons in the insect brain. Here we report the optimization of dopaminergic histology in Drosophila and identification of new dopaminergic neurons, show the remarkable dendritic complexity of these neurons, and provide an updated count of these neurons in adult brains. This manuscript contains online supplemental material at http://www.jhc.org. Please visit this article online to view these materials. (J Histochem Cytochem 56:1049–1063, 2008) PMID:18574253

  3. Involvement of dopaminergic neuronal cystatin C in neuronal injury-induced microglial activation and neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Dutta, Garima; Barber, David S; Zhang, Ping; Doperalski, Nicholas J; Liu, Bin

    2012-08-01

    Factors released from injured dopaminergic (DA) neurons may trigger microglial activation and set in motion a vicious cycle of neuronal injury and inflammation that fuels progressive DA neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease. In this study, using proteomic and immunoblotting analysis, we detected elevated levels of cystatin C in conditioned media (CM) from 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium and dieldrin-injured rat DA neuronal cells. Immunodepletion of cystatin C significantly reduced the ability of DA neuronal CM to induce activation of rat microglial cells as determined by up-regulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase, production of free radicals and release of proinflammatory cytokines as well as activated microglia-mediated DA neurotoxicity. Treatment of the cystatin C-containing CM with enzymes that remove O- and sialic acid-, but not N-linked carbohydrate moieties markedly reduced the ability of the DA neuronal CM to activate microglia. Taken together, these results suggest that DA neuronal cystatin C plays a role in the neuronal injury-induced microglial activation and neurotoxicity. These findings from the rat DA neuron-microglia in vitro model may help guide continued investigation to define the precise role of cystatin C in the complex interplay among neurons and glia in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Short-Term Depression, Temporal Summation, and Onset Inhibition Shape Interval Tuning in Midbrain Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Christa A.

    2014-01-01

    A variety of synaptic mechanisms can contribute to single-neuron selectivity for temporal intervals in sensory stimuli. However, it remains unknown how these mechanisms interact to establish single-neuron sensitivity to temporal patterns of sensory stimulation in vivo. Here we address this question in a circuit that allows us to control the precise temporal patterns of synaptic input to interval-tuned neurons in behaviorally relevant ways. We obtained in vivo intracellular recordings under multiple levels of current clamp from midbrain neurons in the mormyrid weakly electric fish Brienomyrus brachyistius during stimulation with electrosensory pulse trains. To reveal the excitatory and inhibitory inputs onto interval-tuned neurons, we then estimated the synaptic conductances underlying responses. We found short-term depression in excitatory and inhibitory pathways onto all interval-tuned neurons. Short-interval selectivity was associated with excitation that depressed less than inhibition at short intervals, as well as temporally summating excitation. Long-interval selectivity was associated with long-lasting onset inhibition. We investigated tuning after separately nullifying the contributions of temporal summation and depression, and found the greatest diversity of interval selectivity among neurons when both mechanisms were at play. Furthermore, eliminating the effects of depression decreased sensitivity to directional changes in interval. These findings demonstrate that variation in depression and summation of excitation and inhibition helps to establish tuning to behaviorally relevant intervals in communication signals, and that depression contributes to neural coding of interval sequences. This work reveals for the first time how the interplay between short-term plasticity and temporal summation mediates the decoding of temporal sequences in awake, behaving animals. PMID:25339741

  7. Nkx6-1 controls the identity and fate of red nucleus and oculomotor neurons in the mouse midbrain

    PubMed Central

    Prakash, Nilima; Puelles, Eduardo; Freude, Kristine; Trümbach, Dietrich; Omodei, Daniela; Di Salvio, Michela; Sussel, Lori; Ericson, Johan; Sander, Maike; Simeone, Antonio; Wurst, Wolfgang

    2009-01-01

    Summary Little is known about the cues controlling the generation of motoneuron populations in the mammalian ventral midbrain. We show that Otx2 provides the crucial anterior-posterior positional information for the generation of red nucleus neurons in the murine midbrain. Moreover, the homeodomain transcription factor Nkx6-1 controls the proper development of the red nucleus and of the oculomotor and trochlear nucleus neurons. Nkx6-1 is expressed in ventral midbrain progenitors and acts as a fate determinant of the Brn3a+ (also known as Pou4f1) red nucleus neurons. These progenitors are partially dorsalized in the absence of Nkx6-1, and a fraction of their postmitotic offspring adopts an alternative cell fate, as revealed by the activation of Dbx1 and Otx2 in these cells. Nkx6-1 is also expressed in postmitotic Isl1+ oculomotor and trochlear neurons. Similar to hindbrain visceral (branchio-) motoneurons, Nkx6-1 controls the proper migration and axon outgrowth of these neurons by regulating the expression of at least three axon guidance/neuronal migration molecules. Based on these findings, we provide additional evidence that the developmental mechanism of the oculomotor and trochlear neurons exhibits more similarity with that of special visceral motoneurons than with that controlling the generation of somatic motoneurons located in the murine caudal hindbrain and spinal cord. PMID:19592574

  8. Programming of Dopaminergic Neurons by Neonatal Sex Hormone Exposure: Effects on Dopamine Content and Tyrosine Hydroxylase Expression in Adult Male Rats

    PubMed Central

    Espinosa, Pedro; Silva, Roxana A.; Sanguinetti, Nicole K.; Venegas, Francisca C.; Riquelme, Raul; González, Luis F.; Cruz, Gonzalo; Renard, Georgina M.; Moya, Pablo R.; Sotomayor-Zárate, Ramón

    2016-01-01

    We sought to determine the long-term changes produced by neonatal sex hormone administration on the functioning of midbrain dopaminergic neurons in adult male rats. Sprague-Dawley rats were injected subcutaneously at postnatal day 1 and were assigned to the following experimental groups: TP (testosterone propionate of 1.0 mg/50 μL); DHT (dihydrotestosterone of 1.0 mg/50 μL); EV (estradiol valerate of 0.1 mg/50 μL); and control (sesame oil of 50 μL). At postnatal day 60, neurochemical studies were performed to determine dopamine content in substantia nigra-ventral tegmental area and dopamine release in nucleus accumbens. Molecular (mRNA expression of tyrosine hydroxylase) and cellular (tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity) studies were also performed. We found increased dopamine content in substantia nigra-ventral tegmental area of TP and EV rats, in addition to increased dopamine release in nucleus accumbens. However, neonatal exposure to DHT, a nonaromatizable androgen, did not affect midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Correspondingly, compared to control rats, levels of tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA and protein were significantly increased in TP and EV rats but not in DHT rats, as determined by qPCR and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Our results suggest an estrogenic mechanism involving increased tyrosine hydroxylase expression, either by direct estrogenic action or by aromatization of testosterone to estradiol in substantia nigra-ventral tegmental area. PMID:26904299

  9. Protective effects of a polysaccharide from Spirulina platensis on dopaminergic neurons in an MPTP-induced Parkinson's disease model in C57BL/6J mice

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Fang; Lu, Jian; Zhang, Ji-guo; Xie, Jun-xia

    2015-01-01

    The present study aimed to determine whether a polysaccharide obtained from Spirulina platensis shows protective effects on dopaminergic neurons. A Parkinson's disease model was established through the intraperitoneal injection of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) in C57BL/6J mice. Prior to the MPTP injection, some mice were pretreated with intraperitoneal injections of a polysaccharide derived from Spirulina platensis once daily for 10 days. The results showed that the immunoreactive staining and mRNA expression of the dopamine transporter and tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine synthesis, in the substantia nigra, were significantly increased in mice pretreated with 800 mg/kg of the polysaccharide compared with those in MPTP-treated mice. The activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase in the serum and midbrain were also increased significantly in mice injected with MPTP after pretreatment with the polysaccharide from Spirulina platensis. By contrast, the activity of monoamine oxidase B in serum and midbrain maintained unchanged. These experimental findings indicate that the polysaccharide obtained from Spirulina platensis plays a protective role against the MPTP-induced loss of dopaminergic neurons in C57BL/6J mice, and that the antioxidative properties of this polysaccharide likely underlie its neuroprotective effect. PMID:25883632

  10. Dopaminergic neurons in the brain and dopaminergic innervation of the albumen gland in mated and virgin helisoma duryi (mollusca: pulmonata)

    PubMed Central

    Kiehn, Lana; Saleuddin, Saber; Lange, Angela

    2001-01-01

    Background Dopamine was shown to stimulate the perivitelline fluid secretion by the albumen gland. Even though the albumen gland has been shown to contain catecholaminergic fibers and its innervation has been studied, the type of catecholamines, distribution of fibers and the precise source of this neural innervation has not yet been deduced. This study was designed to address these issues and examine the correlation between dopamine concentration and the sexual status of snails. Results Dopaminergic neurons were found in all ganglia except the pleural and right parietal, and their axons in all ganglia and major nerves of the brain. In the albumen gland dopaminergic axons formed a nerve tract in the central region, and a uniform net in other areas. Neuronal cell bodies were present in the vicinity of the axons. Dopamine was a major catecholamine in the brain and the albumen gland. No significant difference in dopamine quantity was found when the brain and the albumen gland of randomly mating, virgin and first time mated snails were compared. Conclusions Our results represent the first detailed studies regarding the catecholamine innervation and quantitation of neurotransmitters in the albumen gland. In this study we localized catecholaminergic neurons and axons in the albumen gland and the brain, identified these neurons and axons as dopaminergic, reported monoamines present in the albumen gland and the brain, and compared the dopamine content in the brain and the albumen gland of randomly mating, virgin and first time mated snails. PMID:11513757

  11. DJ-1 mediates paraquat-induced dopaminergic neuronal cell death.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Hyun Joo; Heo, Jun Young; Shim, Jung Hee; Park, Ji Hoon; Seo, Kang Sik; Ryu, Min Jeong; Han, Jeong Su; Shong, Minho; Son, Jin H; Kweon, Gi Ryang

    2011-04-25

    There are two causes of Parkinson's disease (PD): environmental insults and genetic mutations of PD-associated genes. Environmental insults and genetic mutations lead to mitochondrial dysfunction, and a combination of mitochondrial dysfunction and increased oxidative stress in dopaminergic neurons is thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of PD. Among the PD-associated genes, DJ-1 acts as a redox sensor for oxidative stress and has been also proposed to maintain mitochondrial complex I activity. To understand molecular functions of DJ-1 in the cell, we have generated DJ-1 null cells from the DJ-1(-/-) mouse embryos. Using these null cells, we investigated the susceptibility to an environmental toxin, paraquat, which is known to inhibit mitochondrial complex I. Interestingly, we found that DJ-1 null cells showed a resistance to paraquat-induced apoptosis, including reduced poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase and procaspase-3. Also DJ-1 null cells generated less superoxide than SN4741 cells by paraquat treatment. Consistent with the reduced paraquat sensitivity, DJ-1 null cells showed reduced complex I activity, which was partially rescued by ectopic DJ-I expression. In summary, our results suggest that DJ-1 is critical to maintain mitochondrial complex I and complex I could be a key target in interaction of paraquat toxicity and DJ-1 for giving rise to PD.

  12. Sweet Taste and Nutrient Value Subdivide Rewarding Dopaminergic Neurons in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Huetteroth, Wolf; Perisse, Emmanuel; Lin, Suewei; Klappenbach, Martín; Burke, Christopher; Waddell, Scott

    2015-01-01

    Summary Dopaminergic neurons provide reward learning signals in mammals and insects [1–4]. Recent work in Drosophila has demonstrated that water-reinforcing dopaminergic neurons are different to those for nutritious sugars [5]. Here, we tested whether the sweet taste and nutrient properties of sugar reinforcement further subdivide the fly reward system. We found that dopaminergic neurons expressing the OAMB octopamine receptor [6] specifically convey the short-term reinforcing effects of sweet taste [4]. These dopaminergic neurons project to the β′2 and γ4 regions of the mushroom body lobes. In contrast, nutrient-dependent long-term memory requires different dopaminergic neurons that project to the γ5b regions, and it can be artificially reinforced by those projecting to the β lobe and adjacent α1 region. Surprisingly, whereas artificial implantation and expression of short-term memory occur in satiated flies, formation and expression of artificial long-term memory require flies to be hungry. These studies suggest that short-term and long-term sugar memories have different physiological constraints. They also demonstrate further functional heterogeneity within the rewarding dopaminergic neuron population. PMID:25728694

  13. Menthol enhances phasic and tonic GABAA receptor-mediated currents in midbrain periaqueductal grey neurons

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Benjamin K; Karim, Shafinaz; Goodchild, Ann K; Vaughan, Christopher W; Drew, Geoffrey M

    2014-01-01

    Background and Purpose Menthol, a naturally occurring compound in the essential oil of mint leaves, is used for its medicinal, sensory and fragrant properties. Menthol acts via transient receptor potential (TRPM8 and TRPA1) channels and as a positive allosteric modulator of recombinant GABAA receptors. Here, we examined the actions of menthol on GABAA receptor-mediated currents in intact midbrain slices. Experimental Approach Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings were made from periaqueductal grey (PAG) neurons in midbrain slices from rats to determine the effects of menthol on GABAA receptor-mediated phasic IPSCs and tonic currents. Key Results Menthol (150–750 μM) produced a concentration-dependent prolongation of spontaneous GABAA receptor-mediated IPSCs, but not non-NMDA receptor-mediated EPSCs throughout the PAG. Menthol actions were unaffected by TRPM8 and TRPA1 antagonists, tetrodotoxin and the benzodiazepine antagonist, flumazenil. Menthol also enhanced a tonic current, which was sensitive to the GABAA receptor antagonists, picrotoxin (100 μM), bicuculline (30 μM) and Zn2+ (100 μM), but unaffected by gabazine (10 μM) and a GABAC receptor antagonist, 1,2,5,6-tetrahydropyridin-4-yl)methylphosphinic acid hydrate (TPMPA; 50 μM). In addition, menthol potentiated currents induced by the extrasynaptic GABAA receptor agonist THIP/gaboxadol (10 μM). Conclusions and Implications These results suggest that menthol positively modulates both synaptic and extrasynaptic populations of GABAA receptors in native PAG neurons. The development of agents that potentiate GABAA-mediated tonic currents and phasic IPSCs in a manner similar to menthol could provide a basis for novel GABAA-related pharmacotherapies. PMID:24460753

  14. The effect of different durations of morphine exposure on mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons in morphine dependent rats.

    PubMed

    Shi, Weibo; Ma, Chunling; Qi, Qian; Liu, Lizhe; Bi, Haitao; Cong, Bin; Li, Yingmin

    2015-12-01

    Mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons are heavily involved in the development of drug dependence. Thyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine synthesis, plays an important role in the survival of dopaminergic neurons. Therefore, this study investigated TH changes in dopaminergic neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra (SN), as well as the morphine effects on dopaminergic neurons induced by different durations of morphine dependence. Models of morphine dependence were established in rats, and paraffin-embedded sections, immunohistochemistry and western blotting were used to observe the changes in the expression of TH protein. Fluoro-Jade B staining was used to detect degeneration and necrosis, and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end-labeling (TUNEL) detected the apoptosis of mesencephalic dopaminergic nerve cells. Immunohistochemistry and western blotting showed that the number of TH positive cells and the protein levels in the VTA and SN were significantly decreased in the rats with a long period of morphine dependency. With prolonged morphine exposure, the dopaminergic nerve cells in the VTA and SN showed degeneration and necrosis, while apoptotic cells were not observed. The number of VTA and SN dopaminergic nerve cells decreased with increasing periods of morphine dependence, which was most likely attributable to the degeneration and necrosis of nerve cells induced by morphine toxicity.

  15. Incorporating naturalistic correlation structure improves spectrogram reconstruction from neuronal activity in the songbird auditory midbrain.

    PubMed

    Ramirez, Alexandro D; Ahmadian, Yashar; Schumacher, Joseph; Schneider, David; Woolley, Sarah M N; Paninski, Liam

    2011-03-09

    Birdsong is comprised of rich spectral and temporal organization, which might be used for vocal perception. To quantify how this structure could be used, we have reconstructed birdsong spectrograms by combining the spike trains of zebra finch auditory midbrain neurons with information about the correlations present in song. We calculated maximum a posteriori estimates of song spectrograms using a generalized linear model of neuronal responses and a series of prior distributions, each carrying different amounts of statistical information about zebra finch song. We found that spike trains from a population of mesencephalicus lateral dorsalis (MLd) neurons combined with an uncorrelated Gaussian prior can estimate the amplitude envelope of song spectrograms. The same set of responses can be combined with Gaussian priors that have correlations matched to those found across multiple zebra finch songs to yield song spectrograms similar to those presented to the animal. The fidelity of spectrogram reconstructions from MLd responses relies more heavily on prior knowledge of spectral correlations than temporal correlations. However, the best reconstructions combine MLd responses with both spectral and temporal correlations.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Responses of midbrain auditory neurons in rats to FM and AM tones presented simultaneously.

    PubMed

    Lee, M F; So, Edmund C; Poon, Paul W F

    2010-12-31

    Speech and other communication signals contain components of frequency and amplitude modulations (FM, AM) that often occur together. Auditory midbrain (or inferior colliculus, IC) is an important center for coding time-varying features of sounds. It remains unclear how IC neurons respond when FM and AM stimuli are both presented. Here we studied IC neurons in the urethane-anesthetized rats when animals were simultaneously stimulated with FM and AM tones. Of 122 units that were sensitive to the dual stimuli, the responses could be grossly divided into two types: one that resembled the respective responses to FM or AM stimuli presented separately ("simple" sensitivity, 45% of units), and another that appeared markedly different from their respective responses to FM or AM tones ("complex" sensitivity, 55%). These types of combinational sensitivities were further correlated with individual cell's frequency tuning pattern (response area) and with their common response pattern to FM and AM sounds. Results suggested that such combinational sensitivity could reflect local synaptic interactions on IC neurons and that the neural mechanisms could underlie more developed sensitivities to acoustic combinations found at the auditory cortex.

  18. 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.

  19. Effect of acupuncture on 6-hydroxydopamine-induced nigrostratal dopaminergic neuronal cell death in rats.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yeung-Kee; Lim, Hyung-Ho; Song, Yun-Kyung; Lee, Hee-Hyuk; Lim, Sabina; Han, Seung-Moo; Kim, Chang-Ju

    In this study, we investigated the effect of acupuncture at the Zusanli acupoint (ST36) on the nigrostriatal dopaminergic neuronal cell death in the rats with Parkinson's disease. Two weeks after unilateral injection of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) into the striatum, an apomorphine-induced rotational behavior test showed significant rotational asymmetry in the rats with Parkinson's disease. Immunostaining for tyrosine hydroxylase demonstrated a dopaminergic neuronal loss in the substantia nigra and dopaminergic fiber loss in the striatum. Acupuncture at the ST36 for 14 days significantly inhibited rotational asymmetry in the rats with Parkinson's disease, and also protected against 6-OHDA-induced nigrostriatal dopaminergic neuronal loss. These effects of acupuncture were not observed for the non-acupoint (hip) acupuncture. The present study shows that acupuncture at the ST36 acupoint can be used as a useful strategy for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

  20. Treadmill exercise alleviates nigrostriatal dopaminergic loss of neurons and fibers in rotenone-induced Parkinson rats

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Mal-Soon; Kim, Tae-Woon; Lee, Jae-Min; Ji, Eun-Sang; Lim, Baek-Vin

    2017-01-01

    Parkinson disease is one of the common brain diseases caused by dopaminergic neuronal loss in the substantia nigra and dopaminergic fiber loss in the striatum. In the present study, the effects of treadmill exercise on motor performance, dopaminergic loss of neurons and fibers, and α-synuclein expression in the nigrostriatum were evaluated using rotenone-induced Parkinson rats. For the induction of Parkinson rats, 3-mg/kg rotenone was injected, once a day for 14 consecutive days. Treadmill running was conducted for 30 min once a day during 14 consecutive days. Rota-rod test for motor balance and coordination and immunohistochemistry for tyrosine hydroxylase and α-synuclein in the nigrostriatum were performed. In the present study, motor balance and coordination was disturbed by induction of rotenone-induced Parkinson disease, in contrast, treadmill exercise alleviated motor dysfunction in the rotenone-induced Parkinson rats. Nigrostriatal dopaminergic loss of neurons and fibers was occurred by induction of rotenone-induced Parkinson disease, in contrast, treadmill exercise alleviated nigrostriatal dopaminergic loss of neurons and fibers in the rotenone-induced Parkinson rats. α-Synuclein expression in the nigrostriatum was enhanced by induction of rotenone-induced Parkinson disease, in contrast, treadmill exercise suppressed α-synuclein expression in the rotenone-induced Parkinson rats. Treadmill exercise improved motor function through preservation of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons and fibers and suppression of nigrostriatal formation of Lewy bodies in rotenone-induced Parkinson rats. PMID:28349030

  1. Treadmill exercise alleviates nigrostriatal dopaminergic loss of neurons and fibers in rotenone-induced Parkinson rats.

    PubMed

    Shin, Mal-Soon; Kim, Tae-Woon; Lee, Jae-Min; Ji, Eun-Sang; Lim, Baek-Vin

    2017-02-01

    Parkinson disease is one of the common brain diseases caused by dopaminergic neuronal loss in the substantia nigra and dopaminergic fiber loss in the striatum. In the present study, the effects of treadmill exercise on motor performance, dopaminergic loss of neurons and fibers, and α-synuclein expression in the nigrostriatum were evaluated using rotenone-induced Parkinson rats. For the induction of Parkinson rats, 3-mg/kg rotenone was injected, once a day for 14 consecutive days. Treadmill running was conducted for 30 min once a day during 14 consecutive days. Rota-rod test for motor balance and coordination and immunohistochemistry for tyrosine hydroxylase and α-synuclein in the nigrostriatum were performed. In the present study, motor balance and coordination was disturbed by induction of rotenone-induced Parkinson disease, in contrast, treadmill exercise alleviated motor dysfunction in the rotenone-induced Parkinson rats. Nigrostriatal dopaminergic loss of neurons and fibers was occurred by induction of rotenone-induced Parkinson disease, in contrast, treadmill exercise alleviated nigrostriatal dopaminergic loss of neurons and fibers in the rotenone-induced Parkinson rats. α-Synuclein expression in the nigrostriatum was enhanced by induction of rotenone-induced Parkinson disease, in contrast, treadmill exercise suppressed α-synuclein expression in the rotenone-induced Parkinson rats. Treadmill exercise improved motor function through preservation of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons and fibers and suppression of nigrostriatal formation of Lewy bodies in rotenone-induced Parkinson rats.

  2. A Wnt1 regulated Frizzled-1/β-Catenin signaling pathway as a candidate regulatory circuit controlling mesencephalic dopaminergic neuron-astrocyte crosstalk: Therapeutical relevance for neuron survival and neuroprotection

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Dopamine-synthesizing (dopaminergic, DA) neurons in the ventral midbrain (VM) constitute a pivotal neuronal population controlling motor behaviors, cognitive and affective brain functions, which generation critically relies on the activation of Wingless-type MMTV integration site (Wnt)/β-catenin pathway in their progenitors. In Parkinson's disease, DA cell bodies within the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) progressively degenerate, with causes and mechanisms poorly understood. Emerging evidence suggests that Wnt signaling via Frizzled (Fzd) receptors may play a role in different degenerative states, but little is known about Wnt signaling in the adult midbrain. Using in vitro and in vivo model systems of DA degeneration, along with functional studies in both intact and SN lesioned mice, we herein highlight an intrinsic Wnt1/Fzd-1/β-catenin tone critically contributing to the survival and protection of adult midbrain DA neurons. Results In vitro experiments identifie Fzd-1 receptor expression at a mRNA and protein levels in dopamine transporter (DAT) expressing neurons, and demonstrate the ability of exogenous Wnt1 to exert robust neuroprotective effects against Caspase-3 activation, the loss of tyrosine hydroxylase-positive (TH+) neurons and [3H] dopamine uptake induced by different DA-specific insults, including serum and growth factor deprivation, 6-hydroxydopamine and MPTP/MPP+. Co-culture of DA neurons with midbrain astrocytes phenocopies Wnt1 neuroprotective effects, whereas RNA interference-mediated knockdown of Wnt1 in midbrain astrocytes markedly reduces astrocyte-induced TH+ neuroprotection. Likewise, silencing β-catenin mRNA or knocking down Fzd-1 receptor expression in mesencephalic neurons counteract astrocyte-induced TH+ neuroprotection. In vivo experiments document Fzd-1 co-localization with TH+ neurons within the intact SNpc and blockade of Fzd/β-catenin signaling by unilateral infusion of a Fzd/β-catenin antagonist within the SN

  3. Reward Dependent Invigoration Relates to Theta Oscillations and Is Predicted by Dopaminergic Midbrain Integrity in Healthy Elderly

    PubMed Central

    Steiger, Tineke K.; Bunzeck, Nico

    2017-01-01

    Motivation can have invigorating effects on behavior via dopaminergic neuromodulation. While this relationship has mainly been established in theoretical models and studies in younger subjects, the impact of structural declines of the dopaminergic system during healthy aging remains unclear. To investigate this issue, we used electroencephalography (EEG) in healthy young and elderly humans in a reward-learning paradigm. Specifically, scene images were initially encoded by combining them with cues predicting monetary reward (high vs. low reward). Subsequently, recognition memory for the scenes was tested. As a main finding, we can show that response times (RTs) during encoding were faster for high reward predicting images in the young but not elderly participants. This pattern was resembled in power changes in the theta-band (4–7 Hz). Importantly, analyses of structural MRI data revealed that individual reward-related differences in the elderlies’ response time could be predicted by the structural integrity of the dopaminergic substantia nigra (SN; as measured by magnetization transfer (MT)). These findings suggest a close relationship between reward-based invigoration, theta oscillations and age-dependent changes of the dopaminergic system. PMID:28174533

  4. Abnormal Development of Glutamatergic Synapses Afferent to Dopaminergic Neurons of the Pink1−/− Mouse Model of Parkinson’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Pearlstein, Edouard; Michel, François J.; Save, Laurène; Ferrari, Diana C.; Hammond, Constance

    2016-01-01

    In a preceding study, we showed that in adult pink1−/− mice, a monogenic animal model of Parkinson’s disease (PD), striatal neurons display aberrant electrical activities that precede the onset of overt clinical manifestations. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the maturation of dopaminergic (DA) neurons of the pink1−/− substantia nigra compacta (SNc) follows, from early stages on, a different developmental trajectory from age-matched wild type (wt) SNc DA neurons. We used immature (postnatal days P2–P10) and young adult (P30–P90) midbrain slices of pink1−/− mice expressing the green fluorescent protein in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons. We report that the developmental sequence of N-Methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) is altered in pink1−/− SNc DA neurons, starting from shortly after birth. They lack the transient episode of high NMDA receptor-mediated neuronal activity characteristic of the immature stage of wt SNc DA neurons. The maturation of the membrane resistance of pink1−/− SNc DA neurons is also altered. Collectively, these observations suggest that electrical manifestations occurring shortly after birth in SNc DA neurons might lead to dysfunction in dopamine release and constitute an early pathogenic mechanism of PD. PMID:27445695

  5. Interactions between Kisspeptin Neurons and Hypothalamic Tuberoinfundibular Dopaminergic Neurons in Aged Female Rats

    PubMed Central

    Iwata, Kinuyo; Ikehara, Masaaki; Kunimura, Yuyu; Ozawa, Hitoshi

    2016-01-01

    Kisspeptin neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) regulate prolactin secretion, and are in physical contact with tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic (TIDA) neurons, which inhibit prolactin secretion. Prolactin levels in the blood are increased with advancing age in rats; therefore, we investigated the interactions with TIDA neurons and kisspeptin neurons in aged female rats (24 months of age), relative to those of young adult female rats (9–10 weeks of age). Plasma prolactin levels in the aged rats were significantly higher than those of young adult rats. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-immunoreactive (ir) cell bodies and kisspeptin-ir nerve fibers were found in the dorsomedial ARC of both groups. The number of TH-ir cell bodies in the dorsomedial ARC did not differ significantly between groups. Additionally, no significant differences in the number of TH-ir cells in contact with kisspeptin-ir fibers was observed between groups. However, the number of kisspeptin-ir or Kiss1 mRNA-expressing cells in the ARC was significantly reduced in the aged rats compared with that of the young rats. These results suggest that the contacts between TIDA neurons and kisspeptin neurons are maintained after reproductive senescence, while production of kisspeptin in the ARC decreases significantly during aging. PMID:28127107

  6. Control of dopaminergic neuron survival by the unfolded protein response transcription factor XBP1

    PubMed Central

    Valdés, Pamela; Mercado, Gabriela; Vidal, Rene L.; Molina, Claudia; Parsons, Geoffrey; Court, Felipe A.; Martinez, Alexis; Galleguillos, Danny; Armentano, Donna; Schneider, Bernard L.; Hetz, Claudio

    2014-01-01

    Parkinson disease (PD) is characterized by the selective loss of dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). Although growing evidence indicates that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is a hallmark of PD, its exact contribution to the disease process is not well understood. Here we report that developmental ablation of X-Box binding protein 1 (XBP1) in the nervous system, a key regulator of the unfolded protein response (UPR), protects dopaminergic neurons against a PD-inducing neurotoxin. This survival effect was associated with a preconditioning condition that resulted from induction of an adaptive ER stress response in dopaminergic neurons of the SNpc, but not in other brain regions. In contrast, silencing XBP1 in adult animals triggered chronic ER stress and dopaminergic neuron degeneration. Supporting this finding, gene therapy to deliver an active form of XBP1 provided neuroprotection and reduced striatal denervation in animals injected with 6-hydroxydopamine. Our results reveal a physiological role of the UPR in the maintenance of protein homeostasis in dopaminergic neurons that may help explain the differential neuronal vulnerability observed in PD. PMID:24753614

  7. Effect of total flavonoids from Scutellaria baicalensis on dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xue-Li; Xu, Xiao-Fan; Bu, Qing-Xia; Jin, Wei-Rong; Sun, Qian-Ru; Feng, De-Peng; Zhang, Qing-Jv; Wang, Le-Xin

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of Scutellaria baicalensis stem-leaf total flavonoid (SSTF) on the dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease (PD). The mouse model was established by intravenous injection of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). SSTF (5 mg/kg) was administered to the mice before or after MPTP injection, and the effects of SSTF on the behavior of the mice and the dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra were assessed. In addition, the level of serum malondialdehyde (MDA) was measured. Following injection of MPTP, the number of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra was decreased and the neurons appeared atrophic. In addition, the level of serum MDA in the MPTP mice increased. The mean behavioral scores and the number of dopaminergic neurons in the SSTF treatment groups were significantly higher than in the MPTP group (P<0.05), and the mean serum MDA levels were significantly lower (P<0.05). Thus, SSTF improves the behaviors and the numbers of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra in MPTP-induced PD in mice. These beneficial effects appear to be associated with the reduction in serum MDA. PMID:27446544

  8. Non-Monotonic Relation between Noise Exposure Severity and Neuronal Hyperactivity in the Auditory Midbrain

    PubMed Central

    Hesse, Lara Li; Bakay, Warren; Ong, Hui-Ching; Anderson, Lucy; Ashmore, Jonathan; McAlpine, David; Linden, Jennifer; Schaette, Roland

    2016-01-01

    The occurrence of tinnitus can be linked to hearing loss in the majority of cases, but there is nevertheless a large degree of unexplained heterogeneity in the relation between hearing loss and tinnitus. Part of the problem might be that hearing loss is usually quantified in terms of increased hearing thresholds, which only provides limited information about the underlying cochlear damage. Moreover, noise exposure that does not cause hearing threshold loss can still lead to “hidden hearing loss” (HHL), i.e., functional deafferentation of auditory nerve fibers (ANFs) through loss of synaptic ribbons in inner hair cells. While it is known that increased hearing thresholds can trigger increases in spontaneous neural activity in the central auditory system, i.e., a putative neural correlate of tinnitus, the central effects of HHL have not yet been investigated. Here, we exposed mice to octave-band noise at 100 and 105 dB SPL to generate HHL and permanent increases of hearing thresholds, respectively. Deafferentation of ANFs was confirmed through measurement of auditory brainstem responses and cochlear immunohistochemistry. Acute extracellular recordings from the auditory midbrain (inferior colliculus) demonstrated increases in spontaneous neuronal activity (a putative neural correlate of tinnitus) in both groups. Surprisingly, the increase in spontaneous activity was most pronounced in the mice with HHL, suggesting that the relation between hearing loss and neuronal hyperactivity might be more complex than currently understood. Our computational model indicated that these differences in neuronal hyperactivity could arise from different degrees of deafferentation of low-threshold ANFs in the two exposure groups. Our results demonstrate that HHL is sufficient to induce changes in central auditory processing, and they also indicate a non-monotonic relationship between cochlear damage and neuronal hyperactivity, suggesting an explanation for why tinnitus might occur

  9. Non-Monotonic Relation between Noise Exposure Severity and Neuronal Hyperactivity in the Auditory Midbrain.

    PubMed

    Hesse, Lara Li; Bakay, Warren; Ong, Hui-Ching; Anderson, Lucy; Ashmore, Jonathan; McAlpine, David; Linden, Jennifer; Schaette, Roland

    2016-01-01

    The occurrence of tinnitus can be linked to hearing loss in the majority of cases, but there is nevertheless a large degree of unexplained heterogeneity in the relation between hearing loss and tinnitus. Part of the problem might be that hearing loss is usually quantified in terms of increased hearing thresholds, which only provides limited information about the underlying cochlear damage. Moreover, noise exposure that does not cause hearing threshold loss can still lead to "hidden hearing loss" (HHL), i.e., functional deafferentation of auditory nerve fibers (ANFs) through loss of synaptic ribbons in inner hair cells. While it is known that increased hearing thresholds can trigger increases in spontaneous neural activity in the central auditory system, i.e., a putative neural correlate of tinnitus, the central effects of HHL have not yet been investigated. Here, we exposed mice to octave-band noise at 100 and 105 dB SPL to generate HHL and permanent increases of hearing thresholds, respectively. Deafferentation of ANFs was confirmed through measurement of auditory brainstem responses and cochlear immunohistochemistry. Acute extracellular recordings from the auditory midbrain (inferior colliculus) demonstrated increases in spontaneous neuronal activity (a putative neural correlate of tinnitus) in both groups. Surprisingly, the increase in spontaneous activity was most pronounced in the mice with HHL, suggesting that the relation between hearing loss and neuronal hyperactivity might be more complex than currently understood. Our computational model indicated that these differences in neuronal hyperactivity could arise from different degrees of deafferentation of low-threshold ANFs in the two exposure groups. Our results demonstrate that HHL is sufficient to induce changes in central auditory processing, and they also indicate a non-monotonic relationship between cochlear damage and neuronal hyperactivity, suggesting an explanation for why tinnitus might occur

  10. Pleiotrophin over-expression provides trophic support to dopaminergic neurons in parkinsonian rats

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Pleiotrophin is known to promote the survival and differentiation of dopaminergic neurons in vitro and is up-regulated in the substantia nigra of Parkinson's disease patients. To establish whether pleiotrophin has a trophic effect on nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons in vivo, we injected a recombinant adenovirus expressing pleiotrophin in the substantia nigra of 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned rats. Results The viral vector induced pleiotrophin over-expression by astrocytes in the substantia nigra pars compacta, without modifying endogenous neuronal expression. The percentage of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive cells as well as the area of their projections in the lesioned striatum was higher in pleiotrophin-treated animals than in controls. Conclusions These results indicate that pleiotrophin over-expression partially rescues tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive cell bodies and terminals of dopaminergic neurons undergoing 6-hydroxydopamine-induced degeneration. PMID:21649894

  11. Endogenous Parkin Preserves Dopaminergic Substantia Nigral Neurons following Mitochondrial DNA Mutagenic Stress.

    PubMed

    Pickrell, Alicia M; Huang, Chiu-Hui; Kennedy, Scott R; Ordureau, Alban; Sideris, Dionisia P; Hoekstra, Jake G; Harper, J Wade; Youle, Richard J

    2015-07-15

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. PARK2 mutations cause early-onset forms of PD. PARK2 encodes an E3 ubiquitin ligase, Parkin, that can selectively translocate to dysfunctional mitochondria to promote their removal by autophagy. However, Parkin knockout (KO) mice do not display signs of neurodegeneration. To assess Parkin function in vivo, we utilized a mouse model that accumulates dysfunctional mitochondria caused by an accelerated generation of mtDNA mutations (Mutator mice). In the absence of Parkin, dopaminergic neurons in Mutator mice degenerated causing an L-DOPA reversible motor deficit. Other neuronal populations were unaffected. Phosphorylated ubiquitin was increased in the brains of Mutator mice, indicating PINK1-Parkin activation. Parkin loss caused mitochondrial dysfunction and affected the pathogenicity but not the levels of mtDNA somatic mutations. A systemic loss of Parkin synergizes with mitochondrial dysfunction causing dopaminergic neuron death modeling PD pathogenic processes.

  12. The cellular and Genomic response of rat dopaminergic neurons (N27) to coated nanosilver

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study examined if nanosilver (nanoAg) of different sizes and coatings were differentially toxic to oxidative stress-sensitive neurons. N27 rat dopaminergic neurons were exposed (0.5-5ppm) to a set of nanoAg of different sizes (10nm, 75nm) and coatings (PVP, citrate) and thei...

  13. Dopaminergic Neurons Respond to Iron-Induced Oxidative Stress by Modulating Lipid Acylation and Deacylation Cycles

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez Campos, Sofía; Rodríguez Diez, Guadalupe; Oresti, Gerardo Martín; Salvador, Gabriela Alejandra

    2015-01-01

    Metal-imbalance has been reported as a contributor factor for the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson Disease (PD). Specifically, iron (Fe)-overload and copper (Cu) mis-compartmentalization have been reported to be involved in the injury of dopaminergic neurons in this pathology. The aim of this work was to characterize the mechanisms of membrane repair by studying lipid acylation and deacylation reactions and their role in oxidative injury in N27 dopaminergic neurons exposed to Fe-overload and Cu-supplementation. N27 dopaminergic neurons incubated with Fe (1mM) for 24 hs displayed increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), lipid peroxidation and elevated plasma membrane permeability. Cu-supplemented neurons (10, 50 μM) showed no evidence of oxidative stress markers. A different lipid acylation profile was observed in N27 neurons pre-labeled with [3H] arachidonic acid (AA) or [3H] oleic acid (OA). In Fe-exposed neurons, AA uptake was increased in triacylglycerols (TAG) whereas its incorporation into the phospholipid (PL) fraction was diminished. TAG content was 40% higher in Fe-exposed neurons than in controls. This increase was accompanied by the appearance of Nile red positive lipid bodies. Contrariwise, OA incorporation increased in the PL fractions and showed no changes in TAG. Lipid acylation profile in Cu-supplemented neurons showed AA accumulation into phosphatidylserine and no changes in TAG. The inhibition of deacylation/acylation reactions prompted an increase in oxidative stress markers and mitochondrial dysfunction in Fe-overloaded neurons. These findings provide evidence about the participation of lipid acylation mechanisms against Fe-induced oxidative injury and postulate that dopaminergic neurons cleverly preserve AA in TAG in response to oxidative stress. PMID:26076361

  14. Activation of Transcription Factor MEF2D by Bis(3)-cognitin Protects Dopaminergic Neurons and Ameliorates Parkinsonian Motor Defects*

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Lu; Li, Wenming; She, Hua; Dou, Juan; Jia, Leili; He, Yingli; Yang, Qian; Zhu, Jinqiu; Cápiro, Natalie L.; Walker, Douglas I.; Pennell, Kurt D.; Pang, Yuanping; Liu, Yong; Han, Yifan; Mao, Zixu

    2012-01-01

    Parkinson disease (PD) is characterized by the selective demise of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantial nigra pars compacta. Dysregulation of transcriptional factor myocyte enhancer factor 2D (MEF2D) has been implicated in the pathogenic process in in vivo and in vitro models of PD. Here, we identified a small molecule bis(3)-cognitin (B3C) as a potent activator of MEF2D. We showed that B3C attenuated the toxic effects of neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) by activating MEF2D via multiple mechanisms. B3C significantly reduced MPP+-induced oxidative stress and potentiated Akt to down-regulate the activity of MEF2 inhibitor glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) in a DA neuronal cell line SN4741. Furthermore, B3C effectively rescued MEF2D from MPP+-induced decline in both nucleic and mitochondrial compartments. B3C offered SN4741 cells potent protection against MPP+-induced apoptosis via MEF2D. Interestingly, B3C also protected SN4741 cells from wild type or mutant A53T α-synuclein-induced cytotoxicity. Using the in vivo PD model of C57BL/6 mice treated with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine hydrochloride (MPTP), we showed that B3C maintained redox homeostasis, promoted Akt function activity, and restored MEF2D level in midbrain neurons. Moreover, B3C greatly prevented the loss of tyrosine hydroxylase signal in substantial nigra pars compacta DA neurons and ameliorated behavioral impairments in mice treated with MPTP. Collectedly, our studies identified B3C as a potent neuroprotective agent whose effectiveness relies on its ability to effectively up-regulate MEF2D in DA neurons against toxic stress in models of PD in vitro and in vivo. PMID:22891246

  15. Interleukin-4 Protects Dopaminergic Neurons In vitro but Is Dispensable for MPTP-Induced Neurodegeneration In vivo

    PubMed Central

    Hühner, Laura; Rilka, Jennifer; Gilsbach, Ralf; Zhou, Xiaolai; Machado, Venissa; Spittau, Björn

    2017-01-01

    Microglia are involved in physiological as well as neuropathological processes in the central nervous system (CNS). Their functional states are often referred to as M1-like and M2-like activation, and are believed to contribute to neuroinflammation-mediated neurodegeneration or neuroprotection, respectively. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one the most common neurodegenerative disease and is characterized by the progressive loss of midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons in the substantia nigra resulting in bradykinesia, tremor, and rigidity. Interleukin 4 (IL4)-mediated M2-like activation of microglia, which is characterized by upregulation of alternative markers Arginase 1 (Arg1) and Chitinase 3 like 3 (Ym1) has been well studied in vitro but the role of endogenous IL4 during CNS pathologies in vivo is not well understood. Interestingly, microglia activation by IL4 has been described to promote neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects, which might be important to slow the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. In the present study, we addressed the role of endogenous and exogenous IL4 during MPP+-induced degeneration of mDA neurons in vitro and further addressed the impact of IL4-deficiency on neurodegeneration in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of PD in vivo. Our results clearly demonstrate that exogenous IL4 is important to protect mDA neurons in vitro, but endogenous IL4 seems to be dispensable for development and maintenance of the nigrostriatal system as well as MPTP-induced loss of TH+ neurons in vivo. These results underline the importance of IL4 in promoting a neuroprotective microglia activation state and strengthen the therapeutic potential of exogenous IL4 for protection of mDA neurons in PD models. PMID:28337124

  16. Activation of transcription factor MEF2D by bis(3)-cognitin protects dopaminergic neurons and ameliorates Parkinsonian motor defects.

    PubMed

    Yao, Lu; Li, Wenming; She, Hua; Dou, Juan; Jia, Leili; He, Yingli; Yang, Qian; Zhu, Jinqiu; Cápiro, Natalie L; Walker, Douglas I; Pennell, Kurt D; Pang, Yuanping; Liu, Yong; Han, Yifan; Mao, Zixu

    2012-10-05

    Parkinson disease (PD) is characterized by the selective demise of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantial nigra pars compacta. Dysregulation of transcriptional factor myocyte enhancer factor 2D (MEF2D) has been implicated in the pathogenic process in in vivo and in vitro models of PD. Here, we identified a small molecule bis(3)-cognitin (B3C) as a potent activator of MEF2D. We showed that B3C attenuated the toxic effects of neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP(+)) by activating MEF2D via multiple mechanisms. B3C significantly reduced MPP(+)-induced oxidative stress and potentiated Akt to down-regulate the activity of MEF2 inhibitor glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) in a DA neuronal cell line SN4741. Furthermore, B3C effectively rescued MEF2D from MPP(+)-induced decline in both nucleic and mitochondrial compartments. B3C offered SN4741 cells potent protection against MPP(+)-induced apoptosis via MEF2D. Interestingly, B3C also protected SN4741 cells from wild type or mutant A53T α-synuclein-induced cytotoxicity. Using the in vivo PD model of C57BL/6 mice treated with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine hydrochloride (MPTP), we showed that B3C maintained redox homeostasis, promoted Akt function activity, and restored MEF2D level in midbrain neurons. Moreover, B3C greatly prevented the loss of tyrosine hydroxylase signal in substantial nigra pars compacta DA neurons and ameliorated behavioral impairments in mice treated with MPTP. Collectedly, our studies identified B3C as a potent neuroprotective agent whose effectiveness relies on its ability to effectively up-regulate MEF2D in DA neurons against toxic stress in models of PD in vitro and in vivo.

  17. 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.

  18. Brain angiotensin regulates iron homeostasis in dopaminergic neurons and microglial cells.

    PubMed

    Garrido-Gil, Pablo; Rodriguez-Pallares, Jannette; Dominguez-Meijide, Antonio; Guerra, Maria J; Labandeira-Garcia, Jose L

    2013-12-01

    Dysfunction of iron homeostasis has been shown to be involved in ageing, Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Increased levels of labile iron result in increased reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress. Angiotensin II, via type-1 receptors, exacerbates oxidative stress, the microglial inflammatory response and progression of dopaminergic degeneration. Angiotensin activates the NADPH-oxidase complex, which produces superoxide. However, it is not known whether angiotensin affects iron homeostasis. In the present study, administration of angiotensin to primary mesencephalic cultures, the dopaminergic cell line MES23.5 and to young adult rats, significantly increased levels of transferrin receptors, divalent metal transporter-1 and ferroportin, which suggests an increase in iron uptake and export. In primary neuron-glia cultures and young rats, angiotensin did not induce significant changes in levels of ferritin or labile iron, both of which increased in neurons in the absence of glia (neuron-enriched cultures, dopaminergic cell line) and in the N9 microglial cell line. In aged rats, which are known to display high levels of angiotensin activity, ferritin levels and iron deposits in microglial cells were enhanced. Angiotensin-induced changes were inhibited by angiotensin type-1 receptor antagonists, NADPH-oxidase inhibitors, antioxidants and NF-kB inhibitors. The results demonstrate that angiotensin, via type-1 receptors, modulates iron homeostasis in dopaminergic neurons and microglial cells, and that glial cells play a major role in efficient regulation of iron homeostasis in dopaminergic neurons.

  19. 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

  20. Simultaneous activation of mitophagy and autophagy by staurosporine protects against dopaminergic neuronal cell death.

    PubMed

    Ha, Ji-Young; Kim, Ji-Soo; Kim, Seo-Eun; Son, Jin H

    2014-02-21

    Abnormal autophagy is frequently observed during dopaminergic neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, it is not yet firmly established whether active autophagy is beneficial or pathogenic with respect to dopaminergic cell loss. Staurosporine, a common inducer of apoptosis, is often used in mechanistic studies of dopaminergic cell death. Here we report that staurosporine activates both autophagy and mitophagy simultaneously during dopaminergic neuronal cell death, and evaluate the physiological significance of these processes during cell death. First, staurosporine treatment resulted in induction of autophagy in more than 75% of apoptotic cells. Pharmacological inhibition of autophagy by bafilomycin A1 decreased significantly cell viability. In addition, staurosporine treatment resulted in activation of the PINK1-Parkin mitophagy pathway, of which deficit underlies some familial cases of PD, in the dopaminergic neuronal cell line, SN4741. The genetic blockade of this pathway by PINK1 null mutation also dramatically increased staurosporine-induced cell death. Taken together, our data suggest that staurosporine induces both mitophagy and autophagy, and that these pathways exert a significant neuroprotective effect, rather than a contribution to autophagic cell death. This model system may therefore be useful for elucidating the mechanisms underlying crosstalk between autophagy, mitophagy, and cell death in dopaminergic neurons.

  1. The Effects of Age, from Young to Middle Adulthood, and Gender on Resting State Functional Connectivity of the Dopaminergic Midbrain

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Andrew C.; Zhang, Sheng; Hu, Sien; Chao, Herta H.; Li, Chiang-shan R.

    2017-01-01

    Dysfunction of the dopaminergic ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) is implicated in psychiatric disorders including attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), addiction, schizophrenia and movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD). Although the prevalence of these disorders varies by age and sex, the underlying neural mechanism is not well understood. The objective of this study was to delineate the distinct resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) of the VTA and SNc and examine the effects of age, from young to middle-adulthood, and sex on the rsFC of these two dopaminergic structures in a data set of 250 healthy adults (18–49 years of age, 104 men). Using blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signals, we correlated the time course of the VTA and SNc to the time courses of all other brain voxels. At a corrected threshold, paired t-test showed stronger VTA connectivity to bilateral angular gyrus and superior/middle and orbital frontal regions and stronger SNc connectivity to the insula, thalamus, parahippocampal gyrus (PHG) and amygdala. Compared to women, men showed a stronger VTA/SNc connectivity to the left posterior orbital gyrus. In linear regressions, men but not women showed age-related changes in VTA/SNc connectivity to a number of cortical and cerebellar regions. Supporting shared but also distinct cerebral rsFC of the VTA and SNc and gender differences in age-related changes from young and middle adulthood in VTA/SNc connectivity, these new findings help advance our understanding of the neural bases of many neuropsychiatric illnesses that implicate the dopaminergic systems. PMID:28223929

  2. CB2 Receptor Agonists Protect Human Dopaminergic Neurons against Damage from HIV-1 gp120

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Shuxian; Sheng, Wen S.; Rock, R. Bryan

    2013-01-01

    Despite the therapeutic impact of anti-retroviral therapy, HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) remains a serious threat to AIDS patients, and there currently remains no specific therapy for the neurological manifestations of HIV-1. Recent work suggests that the nigrostriatal dopaminergic area is a critical brain region for the neuronal dysfunction and death seen in HAND and that human dopaminergic neurons have a particular sensitivity to gp120-induced damage, manifested as reduced function (decreased dopamine uptake), morphological changes, and reduced viability. Synthetic cannabinoids inhibit HIV-1 expression in human microglia, suppress production of inflammatory mediators in human astrocytes, and there is substantial literature demonstrating the neuroprotective properties of cannabinoids in other neuropathogenic processes. Based on these data, experiments were designed to test the hypothesis that synthetic cannabinoids will protect dopaminergic neurons against the toxic effects of the HIV-1 protein gp120. Using a human mesencephalic neuronal/glial culture model, which contains dopaminergic neurons, microglia, and astrocytes, we were able to show that the CB1/CB2 agonist WIN55,212-2 blunts gp120-induced neuronal damage as measured by dopamine transporter function, apoptosis and lipid peroxidation; these actions were mediated principally by the CB2 receptor. Adding supplementary human microglia to our cultures enhances gp120-induced damage; WIN55,212-2 is able to alleviate this enhanced damage. Additionally, WIN55,212-2 inhibits gp120-induced superoxide production by purified human microglial cells, inhibits migration of human microglia towards supernatants generated from gp120-stimulated human mesencephalic neuronal/glial cultures and reduces chemokine and cytokine production from the human mesencephalic neuronal/glial cultures. These data suggest that synthetic cannabinoids are capable of protecting human dopaminergic neurons from gp120 in a variety

  3. Differential effects of histamine on the activity of hypothalamic dopaminergic neurons in the rat.

    PubMed

    Fleckenstein, A E; Lookingland, K J; Moore, K E

    1994-01-01

    The effect of intracerebroventricular administration of histamine on hypothalamic dopaminergic neuronal activity was estimated in male rats by measuring concentrations of dopamine and its metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) in brain regions containing terminals or perikarya of these neurons. Three distinct, regionally specific neurochemical responses were apparent. In the median eminence and intermediate lobe of the pituitary, histamine affected neither DOPAC nor dopamine concentrations, suggesting no effect on tuberoinfundibular or periventricular-hypophysial dopaminergic neuronal activity. In the medial zona incerta and in the dorsomedial, rostral periventricular and medial preoptic hypothalamic nuclei, histamine effected a dose- and time-related increase in both DOPAC and dopamine concentrations; these effects were blocked by destruction of noradrenergic neurons projecting to these regions, suggesting that these changes are attributable to noradrenergic neuronal activation, and that histamine does not affect the activity of incertohypothalamic or periventricular-preoptic dopaminergic neurons located in these brain regions. In the suprachiasmatic, caudal periventricular and paraventricular hypothalamic nuclei, histamine effected a dose- and time-related increase in DOPAC, but not dopamine, concentrations; these effects were blocked by the H1 antagonist mepyramine, but not the H2 antagonist zolantidine. Destruction of noradrenergic neurons projecting to these regions did not prevent the histamine-induced increases in DOPAC concentrations. These data indicate that histamine increases the activity of dopaminergic neurons projecting to the suprachiasmatic, caudal periventricular and paraventricular nuclei via an action at H1 receptors. Overall, these results reveal that i.c.v. administration of histamine differentially affects the activity of the various dopaminergic neuronal systems of the rat hypothalamus.

  4. [Effect of beclin1 on vincristine-induced dopaminergic neurons injury in zebrafish].

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhan-Ying; Zhang, Jing-Pu

    2014-06-01

    To investigate vincristine-induced dopaminergic neurons toxicity and mechanism, and explore the molecular target to reduce the toxicity, zebrafish was chosen as a model animal, based on RT-PCR, Western blotting, whole mount in situ immunofluorescence and other technical means. The results showed that the transcription levels of tyrosine hydroxylase gene and dopamine transporter protein gene were inhibited. Furthermore, the number of dopaminergic neurons was decreased by vincristine. Autophagy was suppressed and beclin1 gene expression was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by vincristine in larval zebrafish. Up-regulated beclin1 partly reduced vincristine-induced neurotoxicity, and down-regulated beclin1 increased toxicity. Beclin1 plays an important role in vincristine-induced dopaminergic neurons toxicity.

  5. Eight Different Types of Dopaminergic Neurons Innervate the Drosophila Mushroom Body Neuropil: Anatomical and Physiological Heterogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Zhengmei; Davis, Ronald L.

    2009-01-01

    We examined tyrosine hydroxylase (TH-GAL4) expression and anti-TH immunoreactivity in the Drosophila protocerebrum and characterized single cell clones of the TH-GAL4 neurons. Eight clusters of putative dopaminergic neurons were characterized. Neurons in three of the clusters project to the mushroom body neuropil: PAM neurons project to the medial portion of the horizontal lobes; PPL1 neurons project to the vertical lobes, the junction area, the heel and distal peduncle; and PPL2ab neurons project to the calyx. Five types of PPL1 neurons were discovered that innervate different zones of the mushroom body lobes. Functional imaging experiments showed that the dopaminergic processes in four of the zones differ in response properties to odor, electric shock, or following the pairing of odor and electric shock. These results indicate that distinct dopaminergic neurons define separate zones of the mushroom body lobes and are probably involved in different functions. Differences in functional response properties of these neurons suggest that they are involved in different behavioral processes. PMID:19597562

  6. Hemispheric Asymmetries in Striatal Reward Responses Relate to Approach-Avoidance Learning and Encoding of Positive-Negative Prediction Errors in Dopaminergic Midbrain Regions.

    PubMed

    Aberg, Kristoffer Carl; Doell, Kimberly C; Schwartz, Sophie

    2015-10-28

    Some individuals are better at learning about rewarding situations, whereas others are inclined to avoid punishments (i.e., enhanced approach or avoidance learning, respectively). In reinforcement learning, action values are increased when outcomes are better than predicted (positive prediction errors [PEs]) and decreased for worse than predicted outcomes (negative PEs). Because actions with high and low values are approached and avoided, respectively, individual differences in the neural encoding of PEs may influence the balance between approach-avoidance learning. Recent correlational approaches also indicate that biases in approach-avoidance learning involve hemispheric asymmetries in dopamine function. However, the computational and neural mechanisms underpinning such learning biases remain unknown. Here we assessed hemispheric reward asymmetry in striatal activity in 34 human participants who performed a task involving rewards and punishments. We show that the relative difference in reward response between hemispheres relates to individual biases in approach-avoidance learning. Moreover, using a computational modeling approach, we demonstrate that better encoding of positive (vs negative) PEs in dopaminergic midbrain regions is associated with better approach (vs avoidance) learning, specifically in participants with larger reward responses in the left (vs right) ventral striatum. Thus, individual dispositions or traits may be determined by neural processes acting to constrain learning about specific aspects of the world.

  7. Manganese nanoparticle activates mitochondrial dependent apoptotic signaling and autophagy in dopaminergic neuronal cells

    SciTech Connect

    Afeseh Ngwa, Hilary; Kanthasamy, Arthi; Gu, Yan; Fang, Ning; Anantharam, Vellareddy; Kanthasamy, Anumantha G.

    2011-11-15

    The production of man-made nanoparticles for various modern applications has increased exponentially in recent years, but the potential health effects of most nanoparticles are not well characterized. Unfortunately, in vitro nanoparticle toxicity studies are extremely limited by yet unresolved problems relating to dosimetry. In the present study, we systematically characterized manganese (Mn) nanoparticle sizes and examined the nanoparticle-induced oxidative signaling in dopaminergic neuronal cells. Differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies revealed that Mn nanoparticles range in size from single nanoparticles ({approx} 25 nM) to larger agglomerates when in treatment media. Manganese nanoparticles were effectively internalized in N27 dopaminergic neuronal cells, and they induced a time-dependent upregulation of the transporter protein transferrin. Exposure to 25-400 {mu}g/mL Mn nanoparticles induced cell death in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Mn nanoparticles also significantly increased ROS, accompanied by a caspase-mediated proteolytic cleavage of proapoptotic protein kinase C{delta} (PKC{delta}), as well as activation loop phosphorylation. Blocking Mn nanoparticle-induced ROS failed to protect against the neurotoxic effects, suggesting the involvement of other pathways. Further mechanistic studies revealed changes in Beclin 1 and LC3, indicating that Mn nanoparticles induce autophagy. Primary mesencephalic neuron exposure to Mn nanoparticles induced loss of TH positive dopaminergic neurons and neuronal processes. Collectively, our results suggest that Mn nanoparticles effectively enter dopaminergic neuronal cells and exert neurotoxic effects by activating an apoptotic signaling pathway and autophagy, emphasizing the need for assessing possible health risks associated with an increased use of Mn nanoparticles in modern applications. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Mn nanoparticles

  8. Effects of chlorpyrifos on neuronal development in rat embryo midbrain micromass cultures.

    PubMed

    Cosenza, M E; Bidanset, J

    1995-04-01

    Chlorpyrifos (CPF) is a broad-spectrum organophosphate insecticide used to control mosquitos and household insects. In man it has toxic effects on the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system and the respiratory system. This study investigated the toxicity of CPF on nervous system development using the midbrain micromass culture system. Chlorpyrifos was tested as a marketed formulation and in 3 solvents. All demonstrated toxicity in midbrain micromass cells with IC50 values below 30 ug/mL, indicating a potent teratogen.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

    The male gender 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 the regulation of dopamine transmission and dopamine-related disorders with gender 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, within a sub-population of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) positive neurons. SRY protein also co-localized with TH positive neurons in the ventral tegmental area, and with GAD-positive neurons in the substantia nigra pars reticulata. Retinoic acid-induced differentiation of human precursor NT2 cells into dopaminergic cells increased expression of TH, NURR1, D2 R 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 over-expression increased TH, DDC, DBH, D2 R and MAO-A levels, 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 plays a role as a positive regulator of catecholamine synthesis and metabolism in the human male midbrain. This ancillary genetic mechanism might contribute to gender bias in fight-flight behaviours in men or their increased susceptibility to dopamine disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia.

  10. A bi-modal function of Wnt signalling directs an FGF activity gradient to spatially regulate neuronal differentiation in the midbrain.

    PubMed

    Dyer, Carlene; Blanc, Eric; Hanisch, Anja; Roehl, Henry; Otto, Georg W; Yu, Tian; Basson, M A; Knight, Robert

    2014-01-01

    FGFs and Wnts are important morphogens during midbrain development, but their importance and potential interactions during neurogenesis are poorly understood. We have employed a combination of genetic and pharmacological manipulations in zebrafish to show that during neurogenesis FGF activity occurs as a gradient along the anterior-posterior axis of the dorsal midbrain and directs spatially dynamic expression of the Hairy gene her5. As FGF activity diminishes during development, Her5 is lost and differentiation of neuronal progenitors occurs in an anterior-posterior manner. We generated mathematical models to explain how Wnt and FGFs direct the spatial differentiation of neurons in the midbrain through Wnt regulation of FGF signalling. These models suggested that a negative-feedback loop controlled by Wnt is crucial for regulating FGF activity. We tested Sprouty genes as mediators of this regulatory loop using conditional mouse knockouts and pharmacological manipulations in zebrafish. These reveal that Sprouty genes direct the positioning of early midbrain neurons and are Wnt responsive in the midbrain. We propose a model in which Wnt regulates FGF activity at the isthmus by driving both FGF and Sprouty gene expression. This controls a dynamic, posteriorly retracting expression of her5 that directs neuronal differentiation in a precise spatiotemporal manner in the midbrain.

  11. Brain endogenous liver X receptor ligands selectively promote midbrain neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Theofilopoulos, Spyridon; Wang, Yuqin; Kitambi, Satish Srinivas; Sacchetti, Paola; Sousa, Kyle M; Bodin, Karl; Kirk, Jayne; Saltó, Carmen; Gustafsson, Magnus; Toledo, Enrique M; Karu, Kersti; Gustafsson, Jan-Åke; Steffensen, Knut R; Ernfors, Patrik; Sjövall, Jan; Griffiths, William J; Arenas, Ernest

    2013-02-01

    Liver X receptors (Lxrα and Lxrβ) are ligand-dependent nuclear receptors critical for ventral midbrain neurogenesis in vivo. However, no endogenous midbrain Lxr ligand has so far been identified. Here we used LC/MS and functional assays to identify cholic acid as a new Lxr ligand. Moreover, 24(S),25-epoxycholesterol (24,25-EC) was found to be the most potent and abundant Lxr ligand in the developing mouse midbrain. Both Lxr ligands promoted neural development in an Lxr-dependent manner in zebrafish in vivo. Notably, each ligand selectively regulated the development of distinct midbrain neuronal populations. Whereas cholic acid increased survival and neurogenesis of Brn3a-positive red nucleus neurons, 24,25-EC promoted dopaminergic neurogenesis. These results identify an entirely new class of highly selective and cell type-specific regulators of neurogenesis and neuronal survival. Moreover, 24,25-EC promoted dopaminergic differentiation of embryonic stem cells, suggesting that Lxr ligands may thus contribute to the development of cell replacement and regenerative therapies for Parkinson's disease.

  12. Degeneration of Dopaminergic Neurons Due to Metabolic Alterations and Parkinson’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Song, Juhyun; Kim, Jongpil

    2016-01-01

    The rates of metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), obesity, and cardiovascular disease (CVD), markedly increase with age. In recent years, studies have reported an association between metabolic changes and various pathophysiological mechanisms in the central nervous system (CNS) in patients with metabolic diseases. Oxidative stress and hyperglycemia in metabolic diseases lead to adverse neurophysiological phenomena, including neuronal loss, synaptic dysfunction, and improper insulin signaling, resulting in Parkinson’s disease (PD). In addition, several lines of evidence suggest that alterations of CNS environments by metabolic changes influence the dopamine neuronal loss, eventually affecting the pathogenesis of PD. Thus, we reviewed recent findings relating to degeneration of dopaminergic neurons during metabolic diseases. We highlight the fact that using a metabolic approach to manipulate degeneration of dopaminergic neurons can serve as a therapeutic strategy to attenuate pathology of PD. PMID:27065205

  13. NANOMETER DIESEL EXHAUST PARTICLES ARE NEUROTOXIC TO DOPAMINERGIC NEURONS THROUGH MICROGLIAL ACTIVATION.

    EPA Science Inventory

    NANOMETER DIESEL EXHAUST PARTICLES ARE NEUROTOXIC TO DOPAMINERGIC NEURONS THROUGH MICROGLIAL ACTIVATION. M.L. Block1,2, X. Wu1, P. Zhong1, G. Li1, T. Wang1, J.S. Hong1 & B.Veronesi.2
    1The Laboratory of Pharmacology and Chemistry, NIEHS, RTP, NC and 2 National Health and Envi...

  14. Phosphodiesterase 7 Inhibition Preserves Dopaminergic Neurons in Cellular and Rodent Models of Parkinson Disease

    PubMed Central

    Morales-Garcia, Jose A.; Redondo, Miriam; Alonso-Gil, Sandra; Gil, Carmen; Perez, Concepción; Martinez, Ana; Santos, Angel; Perez-Castillo, Ana

    2011-01-01

    Background Phosphodiesterase 7 plays a major role in down-regulation of protein kinase A activity by hydrolyzing cAMP in many cell types. This cyclic nucleotide plays a key role in signal transduction in a wide variety of cellular responses. In the brain, cAMP has been implicated in learning, memory processes and other brain functions. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we show a novel function of phosphodiesterase 7 inhibition on nigrostriatal dopaminergic neuronal death. We found that S14, a heterocyclic small molecule inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 7, conferred significant neuronal protection against different insults both in the human dopaminergic cell line SH-SY5Y and in primary rat mesencephalic cultures. S14 treatment also reduced microglial activation, protected dopaminergic neurons and improved motor function in the lipopolysaccharide rat model of Parkinson disease. Finally, S14 neuroprotective effects were reversed by blocking the cAMP signaling pathways that operate through cAMP-dependent protein kinase A. Conclusions/Significance Our findings demonstrate that phosphodiesterase 7 inhibition can protect dopaminergic neurons against different insults, and they provide support for the therapeutic potential of phosphodiesterase 7 inhibitors in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders, particularly Parkinson disease. PMID:21390306

  15. Regulation of differentiation flux by Notch signalling influences the number of dopaminergic neurons in the adult brain.

    PubMed

    Trujillo-Paredes, Niurka; Valencia, Concepción; Guerrero-Flores, Gilda; Arzate, Dulce-María; Baizabal, José-Manuel; Guerra-Crespo, Magdalena; Fuentes-Hernández, Ayari; Zea-Armenta, Iván; Covarrubias, Luis

    2016-02-24

    Notch signalling is a well-established pathway that regulates neurogenesis. However, little is known about the role of Notch signalling in specific neuronal differentiation. Using Dll1 null mice, we found that Notch signalling has no function in the specification of mesencephalic dopaminergic neural precursor cells (NPCs), but plays an important role in regulating their expansion and differentiation into neurons. Premature neuronal differentiation was observed in mesencephalons of Dll1-deficient mice or after treatment with a Notch signalling inhibitor. Coupling between neurogenesis and dopaminergic differentiation was indicated from the coincident emergence of neuronal and dopaminergic markers. Early in differentiation, decreasing Notch signalling caused a reduction in NPCs and an increase in dopaminergic neurons in association with dynamic changes in the proportion of sequentially-linked dopaminergic NPCs (Msx1/2+, Ngn2+, Nurr1+). These effects in differentiation caused a significant reduction in the number of dopaminergic neurons produced. Accordingly, Dll1 haploinsufficient adult mice, in comparison with their wild-type littermates, have a consistent reduction in neuronal density that was particularly evident in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Our results are in agreement with a mathematical model based on a Dll1-mediated regulatory feedback loop between early progenitors and their dividing precursors that controls the emergence and number of dopaminergic neurons.

  16. Regulation of differentiation flux by Notch signalling influences the number of dopaminergic neurons in the adult brain

    PubMed Central

    Trujillo-Paredes, Niurka; Valencia, Concepción; Guerrero-Flores, Gilda; Arzate, Dulce-María; Baizabal, José-Manuel; Guerra-Crespo, Magdalena; Fuentes-Hernández, Ayari; Zea-Armenta, Iván; Covarrubias, Luis

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Notch signalling is a well-established pathway that regulates neurogenesis. However, little is known about the role of Notch signalling in specific neuronal differentiation. Using Dll1 null mice, we found that Notch signalling has no function in the specification of mesencephalic dopaminergic neural precursor cells (NPCs), but plays an important role in regulating their expansion and differentiation into neurons. Premature neuronal differentiation was observed in mesencephalons of Dll1-deficient mice or after treatment with a Notch signalling inhibitor. Coupling between neurogenesis and dopaminergic differentiation was indicated from the coincident emergence of neuronal and dopaminergic markers. Early in differentiation, decreasing Notch signalling caused a reduction in NPCs and an increase in dopaminergic neurons in association with dynamic changes in the proportion of sequentially-linked dopaminergic NPCs (Msx1/2+, Ngn2+, Nurr1+). These effects in differentiation caused a significant reduction in the number of dopaminergic neurons produced. Accordingly, Dll1 haploinsufficient adult mice, in comparison with their wild-type littermates, have a consistent reduction in neuronal density that was particularly evident in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Our results are in agreement with a mathematical model based on a Dll1-mediated regulatory feedback loop between early progenitors and their dividing precursors that controls the emergence and number of dopaminergic neurons. PMID:26912775

  17. Biochanin A protects dopaminergic neurons against lipopolysaccharide-induced damage and oxidative stress in a rat model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jun; He, Can; Wu, Wang-Yang; Chen, Feng; Wu, Yang-Yang; Li, Wei-Zu; Chen, Han-Qing; Yin, Yan-Yan

    2015-11-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, which is characterized by loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). Accumulated evidences have suggested that oxidative stress is closely associated with the dopaminergic neurodegeneration of PD that can be protected by antioxidants. Biochanin A that is an O-methylated isoflavone in chickpea is investigated to explore its protective mechanism on dopaminergic neurons of the unilateral lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-injected rat. The results showed that biochanin A significantly improved the animal model's behavioral symptoms, prevented the loss of dopaminergic neurons and inhibited the deleterious microglia activation in the LPS-induced rats. Moreover, biochanin A inhibited nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase (NADPH oxidase) activation and malondialdehyde (MDA) production, increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities in the rat brain. These results suggested that biochanin A might be a natural candidate with protective properties on dopaminergic neurons against the PD.

  18. Response properties of neighboring neurons in the auditory midbrain for pure-tone stimulation: a tetrode study.

    PubMed

    Seshagiri, Chandran V; Delgutte, Bertrand

    2007-10-01

    The complex anatomical structure of the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICC), the principal auditory nucleus in the midbrain, may provide the basis for functional organization of auditory information. To investigate this organization, we used tetrodes to record from neighboring neurons in the ICC of anesthetized cats and studied the similarity and difference among the responses of these neurons to pure-tone stimuli using widely used physiological characterizations. Consistent with the tonotopic arrangement of neurons in the ICC and reports of a threshold map, we found a high degree of correlation in the best frequencies (BFs) of neighboring neurons, which were mostly <3 kHz in our sample, and the pure-tone thresholds among neighboring neurons. However, width of frequency tuning, shapes of the frequency response areas, and temporal discharge patterns showed little or no correlation among neighboring neurons. Because the BF and threshold are measured at levels near the threshold and the characteristic frequency (CF), neighboring neurons may receive similar primary inputs tuned to their CF; however, at higher levels, additional inputs from other frequency channels may be recruited, introducing greater variability in the responses. There was also no correlation among neighboring neurons' sensitivity to interaural time differences (ITD) measured with binaural beats. However, the characteristic phases (CPs) of neighboring neurons revealed a significant correlation. Because the CP is related to the neural mechanisms generating the ITD sensitivity, this result is consistent with segregation of inputs to the ICC from the lateral and medial superior olives.

  19. Cabergoline protects dopaminergic neurons against rotenone-induced cell death in primary mesencephalic cell culture.

    PubMed

    Meinel, J; Radad, K; Rausch, W-D; Reichmann, H; Gille, G

    2015-01-01

    In the present study, primary mesencephalic cell cultures prepared from embryonic mouse mesencephala were used to investigate the neuroprotective effect of cabergoline, an ergoline D2 receptor agonist, against the pesticide and neurotoxin rotenone relevant to Parkinson disease (PD). Treatment of cultures with cabergoline alone significantly increased the number of tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive (THir) neurons and reduced the release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) into the culture medium compared to untreated controls. Against rotenone toxicity, cabergoline significantly rescued degenerating THir neurons, reduced the release of LDH into the culture medium and improved the morphology of surviving THir neurons. The neuroprotective effects afforded by cabergoline were independent of dopaminergic stimulation as blocking of dopamine receptors by the dopamine receptor antagonist sulpiride did not prevent them. Furthermore, rotenone-induced formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was significantly reduced by cabergoline. Although cabergoline increased the glutathione (GSH) content in the culture, the protective effect for dopaminergic neurons seemed not to be predominantly mediated by increasing GSH, as depletion of GSH by L-buthionine-(S,R)-sulfoximine (BSO), a GSH biosynthesis inhibitor, did not prevent cabergoline-mediated neuroprotection of THir neurons in rotenone-treated cultures. Moreover, cabergoline significantly increased the ATP/protein ratio in primary mesencephalic cell cultures when added alone or prior to rotenone treatment. These results indicate a neuroprotective effect of cabergoline for dopaminergic neurons against rotenone toxicity. This effect was independent of dopamine receptor stimulation and was at least partially mediated by reducing ROS production and increasing the ATP/protein ratio.

  20. Dopaminergic Neurons Controlling Anterior Pituitary Functions: Anatomy and Ontogenesis in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Fontaine, Romain; Affaticati, Pierre; Bureau, Charlotte; Colin, Ingrid; Demarque, Michaël; Dufour, Sylvie; Vernier, Philippe; Yamamoto, Kei; Pasqualini, Catherine

    2015-08-01

    Dopaminergic (DA) neurons located in the preoptico-hypothalamic region of the brain exert a major neuroendocrine control on reproduction, growth, and homeostasis by regulating the secretion of anterior pituitary (or adenohypophysis) hormones. Here, using a retrograde tract tracing experiment, we identified the neurons playing this role in the zebrafish. The DA cells projecting directly to the anterior pituitary are localized in the most anteroventral part of the preoptic area, and we named them preoptico-hypophyseal DA (POHDA) neurons. During development, these neurons do not appear before 72 hours postfertilization (hpf) and are the last dopaminergic cell group to differentiate. We found that the number of neurons in this cell population continues to increase throughout life proportionally to the growth of the fish. 5-Bromo-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation analysis suggested that this increase is due to continuous neurogenesis and not due to a phenotypic change in already-existing neurons. Finally, expression profiles of several genes (foxg1a, dlx2a, and nr4a2a/b) were different in the POHDA compared with the adjacent suprachiasmatic DA neurons, suggesting that POHDA neurons develop as a distinct DA cell population in the preoptic area. This study offers some insights into the regional identity of the preoptic area and provides the first bases for future functional genetic studies on the development of DA neurons controlling anterior pituitary functions.

  1. Functional Genomics of Dopaminergic Neurons and Cellular Susceptibility in Parkinson’s Disease

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-07-01

    AD Award Number: W81XWH-04-1-0599 TITLE: Functional Genomics of Dopaminergic Neurons and Cellular Susceptibility in Parkinson’s Disease PRINCIPAL... Disease 5b. GRANTNUMBER W81XWH-04-1-0599 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER Stefano Gustincich, Ph.D. 5e. TASK NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT...vulnerability of selected classes of dopaminergic cells in Parkinson’s Disease (PD). During the first year of research we have established an in house cDNA

  2. Activity of nigral dopaminergic neurons after lesion of the neostriatum in rats.

    PubMed

    Doudet, D; Gross, C; Seal, J; Bioulac, B

    1984-06-04

    As shown by post-mortem analysis the major neuropathological trait of Huntington's chorea is a degeneration of the intrinsic neurons of the neostriatum (caudate nucleus and putamen). Such a situation can be reproduced by a destruction of the neostriatum by kainic acid. When injected into the caudate nucleus this excitatory amino acid destroys the intrinsic neurons of the neostriatum and spares fairly well the passing fibers. In the present work, we have chosen to examine the influence of neostriatal destruction on the activity of identified dopaminergic cells in the pars compacta of the substantia nigra. As a key element in the nigro-neostriato-nigral loop, this structure is a relevant site for observing the functional effects of neostriatal lesion. Our research hypothesis was based on the generally accepted view that the suppression of the important neostriato-nigral pathway and in particular the inhibitory GABAergic contingent, could generate a hyperactivity of nigral dopaminergic cells. One may therefore consider that the dopaminergic hyperactivity produces abnormal messages which can influence via several pathways the motoneurons, and which participates in the genesis of the hyperkinetic movements characteristic of chorea. After destruction of the neostriatum, we have shown that the pattern of discharge of most identified nigral dopaminergic neurons becomes greatly disorganized. This drastic change in the pattern of activity cannot be interpreted as the simple 'lift of a brake' on these cells by the suppression of the inhibitory GABAergic striato-nigral tract.

  3. Parkin cooperates with GDNF/RET signaling to prevent dopaminergic neuron degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Meka, Durga Praveen; Müller-Rischart, Anne Kathrin; Nidadavolu, Prakash; Mohammadi, Behnam; Motori, Elisa; Ponna, Srinivas Kumar; Aboutalebi, Helia; Bassal, Mahmoud; Annamneedi, Anil; Finckh, Barbara; Miesbauer, Margit; Rotermund, Natalie; Lohr, Christian; Tatzelt, Jörg; Winklhofer, Konstanze F.; Kramer, Edgar R.

    2015-01-01

    Parkin and the glial cell line–derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) receptor RET have both been independently linked to the dopaminergic neuron degeneration that underlies Parkinson’s disease (PD). In the present study, we demonstrate that there is genetic crosstalk between parkin and the receptor tyrosine kinase RET in two different mouse models of PD. Mice lacking both parkin and RET exhibited accelerated dopaminergic cell and axonal loss compared with parkin-deficient animals, which showed none, and RET-deficient mice, in which we found moderate degeneration. Transgenic expression of parkin protected the dopaminergic systems of aged RET-deficient mice. Downregulation of either parkin or RET in neuronal cells impaired mitochondrial function and morphology. Parkin expression restored mitochondrial function in GDNF/RET-deficient cells, while GDNF stimulation rescued mitochondrial defects in parkin-deficient cells. In both cases, improved mitochondrial function was the result of activation of the prosurvival NF-κB pathway, which was mediated by RET through the phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) pathway. Taken together, these observations indicate that parkin and the RET signaling cascade converge to control mitochondrial integrity and thereby properly maintain substantia nigra pars compacta dopaminergic neurons and their innervation in the striatum. The demonstration of crosstalk between parkin and RET highlights the interplay in the protein network that is altered in PD and suggests potential therapeutic targets and strategies to treat PD. PMID:25822020

  4. The Peptidyl-prolyl Isomerase Pin1 Up-regulation and Proapoptotic Function in Dopaminergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Anamitra; Saminathan, Hariharan; Kanthasamy, Arthi; Anantharam, Vellareddy; Jin, Huajun; Sondarva, Gautam; Harischandra, Dilshan S.; Qian, Ziqing; Rana, Ajay; Kanthasamy, Anumantha G.

    2013-01-01

    Parkinson disease (PD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease characterized by a slow and progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra. The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying PD remain unclear. Pin1, a major peptidyl-prolyl isomerase, has recently been associated with certain diseases. Notably, Ryo et al. (Ryo, A., Togo, T., Nakai, T., Hirai, A., Nishi, M., Yamaguchi, A., Suzuki, K., Hirayasu, Y., Kobayashi, H., Perrem, K., Liou, Y. C., and Aoki, I. (2006) J. Biol. Chem. 281, 4117–4125) implicated Pin1 in PD pathology. Therefore, we sought to systematically characterize the role of Pin1 in PD using cell culture and animal models. To our surprise we observed a dramatic up-regulation of Pin1 mRNA and protein levels in dopaminergic MN9D neuronal cells treated with the parkinsonian toxicant 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) as well as in the substantia nigra of the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced PD mouse model. Notably, a marked expression of Pin1 was also observed in the substantia nigra of human PD brains along with a high co-localization of Pin1 within dopaminergic neurons. In functional studies, siRNA-mediated knockdown of Pin1 almost completely prevented MPP+-induced caspase-3 activation and DNA fragmentation, indicating that Pin1 plays a proapoptotic role. Interestingly, multiple pharmacological Pin1 inhibitors, including juglone, attenuated MPP+-induced Pin1 up-regulation, α-synuclein aggregation, caspase-3 activation, and cell death. Furthermore, juglone treatment in the MPTP mouse model of PD suppressed Pin1 levels and improved locomotor deficits, dopamine depletion, and nigral dopaminergic neuronal loss. Collectively, our findings demonstrate for the first time that Pin1 is up-regulated in PD and has a pathophysiological role in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system and suggest that modulation of Pin1 levels may be a useful translational therapeutic strategy in PD. PMID:23754278

  5. 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

  6. Structure-activity relationship of sulfated hetero/galactofucan polysaccharides on dopaminergic neuron.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jing; Liu, Huaide; Jin, Weihua; Zhang, Hong; Zhang, Quanbin

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is associated with progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons and more-widespread neuronal changes that cause complex symptoms. The aim of this study was to investigate the structure-activity relationship of sulfated hetero-polysaccharides (DF1) and sulfated galactofucan polysaccharides (DF2) on dopaminergic neuron in vivo and in vitro. Treatment with samples significantly ameliorated the depletion of both DA and TH-, Bcl-2- and Bax-positive neurons in MPTP-induced PD mice, DF1 showed the highest activity. The in vitro results found that DF1 and DF2 could reverse the decreased mitochondrial activity and the increased LDL release induced by MPP(+) (P<0.01 or P<0.001) which provides further evidence that DF1 and DF2 also exerts a direct protection against the neuronal injury caused by MPP(+). Furthermore, the administration of samples effectively decreased lipid peroxidation and increased the level/activities of GSH, GSH-PX, MDA and CAT in MPTP mice. Thus, the neuron protective effect may be mediated, in part, through antioxidant activity and the prevention of cell apoptosis. The chemical composition of DF1, DF2 and DF differed markedly, the DF1 fraction had the most complex chemical composition and showed the highest neuron protective activity. These results suggest that diverse monosaccharides and uronic acid might contribute to neuron protective activity.

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

    PubMed

    Dragicevic, E; Schiemann, J; Liss, B

    2015-01-22

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

  8. Role of Slit and Robo proteins in the development of dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Cornide-Petronio, María Eugenia; Barreiro-Iglesias, Antón

    2013-01-01

    Dopamine plays a number of important roles in the nervous system and the dopaminergic system is affected in several brain disorders. It is therefore of great interest to study the axonal guidance systems that specifically participate in the correct establishment of dopaminergic projections during development and possibly during regenerative processes. In recent years, several reports have shown that Slits and their Robo receptors control the growth of longitudinal (both ascending and descending) mesodiencephalic dopaminergic axons to their appropriate target areas. In vitro studies have shown that Slit1, 2 and 3 are potent repellents of dopamine neurite extension. In vivo studies using both mice and zebrafish mutants for Slits and Robos have shown that Slits and Robos control the lateral and dorsoventral positioning of dopaminergic longitudinal projections during early development. In the present review, we aimed to compile the existing knowledge from both in vitro and in vivo studies on the role of Slit and Robo proteins in the development of dopaminergic neurons as a basis for future studies.

  9. Oleuropein Prevents Neuronal Death, Mitigates Mitochondrial Superoxide Production and Modulates Autophagy in a Dopaminergic Cellular Model

    PubMed Central

    Achour, Imène; Arel-Dubeau, Anne-Marie; Renaud, Justine; Legrand, Manon; Attard, Everaldo; Germain, Marc; Martinoli, Maria-Grazia

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, primarily affecting dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. There is currently no cure for PD and present medications aim to alleviate clinical symptoms, thus prevention remains the ideal strategy to reduce the prevalence of this disease. The goal of this study was to investigate whether oleuropein (OLE), the major phenolic compound in olive derivatives, may prevent neuronal degeneration in a cellular dopaminergic model of PD, differentiated PC12 cells exposed to the potent parkinsonian toxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). We also investigated OLE’s ability to mitigate mitochondrial oxidative stress and modulate the autophagic flux. Our results obtained by measuring cytotoxicity and apoptotic events demonstrate that OLE significantly decreases neuronal death. OLE could also reduce mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species resulting from blocking superoxide dismutase activity. Moreover, quantification of autophagic and acidic vesicles in the cytoplasm alongside expression of specific autophagic markers uncovered a regulatory role for OLE against autophagic flux impairment induced by bafilomycin A1. Altogether, our results define OLE as a neuroprotective, anti-oxidative and autophagy-regulating molecule, in a neuronal dopaminergic cellular model. PMID:27517912

  10. Oleuropein Prevents Neuronal Death, Mitigates Mitochondrial Superoxide Production and Modulates Autophagy in a Dopaminergic Cellular Model.

    PubMed

    Achour, Imène; Arel-Dubeau, Anne-Marie; Renaud, Justine; Legrand, Manon; Attard, Everaldo; Germain, Marc; Martinoli, Maria-Grazia

    2016-08-09

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, primarily affecting dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. There is currently no cure for PD and present medications aim to alleviate clinical symptoms, thus prevention remains the ideal strategy to reduce the prevalence of this disease. The goal of this study was to investigate whether oleuropein (OLE), the major phenolic compound in olive derivatives, may prevent neuronal degeneration in a cellular dopaminergic model of PD, differentiated PC12 cells exposed to the potent parkinsonian toxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). We also investigated OLE's ability to mitigate mitochondrial oxidative stress and modulate the autophagic flux. Our results obtained by measuring cytotoxicity and apoptotic events demonstrate that OLE significantly decreases neuronal death. OLE could also reduce mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species resulting from blocking superoxide dismutase activity. Moreover, quantification of autophagic and acidic vesicles in the cytoplasm alongside expression of specific autophagic markers uncovered a regulatory role for OLE against autophagic flux impairment induced by bafilomycin A1. Altogether, our results define OLE as a neuroprotective, anti-oxidative and autophagy-regulating molecule, in a neuronal dopaminergic cellular model.

  11. Endogenous Parkin Preserves Dopaminergic Substantia Nigral Neurons following Mitochondrial DNA Mutagenic Stress

    PubMed Central

    Pickrell, Alicia M.; Huang, Chiu-Hui; Kennedy, Scott R.; Ordureau, Alban; Sideris, Dionisia P.; Hoekstra, Jake G.; Harper, J. Wade; Youle, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. PARK2 mutations cause early-onset forms of PD. PARK2 encodes an E3 ubiquitin ligase, Parkin, that can selectively translocate to dysfunctional mitochondria to promote their removal by autophagy. However, Parkin knockout (KO) mice do not display signs of neurodegeneration. To assess Parkin function in vivo, we utilized a mouse model that accumulates dysfunctional mitochondria caused by an accelerated generation of mtDNA mutations (Mutator mice). In the absence of Parkin, dopaminergic neurons in Mutator mice degenerated causing an L-DOPA reversible motor deficit. Other neuronal populations were unaffected. Phosphorylated ubiquitin was increased in the brains of Mutator mice, indicating PINK1-Parkin activation. Parkin loss caused mitochondrial dysfunction and affected the pathogenicity but not the levels of mtDNA somatic mutations. A systemic loss of Parkin synergizes with mitochondrial dysfunction causing dopaminergic neuron death modeling PD pathogenic processes. PMID:26182419

  12. β-Caryophyllene, a phytocannabinoid attenuates oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, glial activation, and salvages dopaminergic neurons in a rat model of Parkinson disease.

    PubMed

    Ojha, Shreesh; Javed, Hayate; Azimullah, Sheikh; Haque, M Emdadul

    2016-07-01

    Parkinson disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive dopaminergic neurodegeneration in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) area. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the neuroprotective effect of β-caryophyllene (BCP) against rotenone-induced oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in a rat model of PD. In the present study, BCP was administered once daily for 4 weeks at a dose of 50 mg/kg body weight prior to a rotenone (2.5 mg/kg body weight) challenge to mimic the progressive neurodegenerative nature of PD. Rotenone administration results in oxidative stress as evidenced by decreased activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and depletion of glutathione with a concomitant rise in lipid peroxidation product, malondialdehyde. Rotenone also significantly increased pro-inflammatory cytokines in the midbrain region and elevated the inflammatory mediators such as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in the striatum. Further, immunohistochemical analysis revealed loss of dopaminergic neurons in the SNc area and enhanced expression of ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule-1 (Iba-1) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), indicators of microglia activation, and astrocyte hypertrophy, respectively, as an index of inflammation. However, treatment with BCP rescued dopaminergic neurons and decreased microglia and astrocyte activation evidenced by reduced Iba-1 and GFAP expression. BCP in addition to attenuation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and inflammatory mediators such as COX-2 and iNOS, also restored antioxidant enzymes and inhibited lipid peroxidation as well as glutathione depletion. The findings demonstrate that BCP provides neuroprotection against rotenone-induced PD and the neuroprotective effects can be ascribed to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.

  13. Transient Activation of GABAB Receptors Suppresses SK Channel Currents in Substantia Nigra Pars Compacta Dopaminergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Estep, Chad M.; Galtieri, Daniel J.; Zampese, Enrico; Goldberg, Joshua A.; Brichta, Lars; Greengard, Paul; Surmeier, D. James

    2016-01-01

    Dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) are richly innervated by GABAergic neurons. The postsynaptic effects of GABA on SNc DA neurons are mediated by a mixture of GABAA and GABAB receptors. Although activation of GABAA receptors inhibits spike generation, the consequences of GABAB receptor activation are less well characterized. To help fill this gap, perforated patch recordings were made from young adult mouse SNc DA neurons. Sustained stimulation of GABAB receptors hyperpolarized SNc DA neurons, as previously described. However, transient stimulation of GABAB receptors by optical uncaging of GABA did not; rather, it reduced the opening of small-conductance, calcium-activated K+ (SK) channels and increased the irregularity of spiking. This modulation was attributable to inhibition of adenylyl cyclase and protein kinase A. Thus, because suppression of SK channel activity increases the probability of burst spiking, transient co-activation of GABAA and GABAB receptors could promote a pause-burst pattern of spiking. PMID:28036359

  14. Hemoglobin is present as a canonical α2β2 tetramer in dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Russo, Roberta; Zucchelli, Silvia; Codrich, Marta; Marcuzzi, Federica; Verde, Cinzia; Gustincich, Stefano

    2013-09-01

    Hemoglobin is the oxygen carrier in blood erythrocytes. Oxygen coordination is mediated by α2β2 tetrameric structure via binding of the ligand to the heme iron atom. This structure is essential for hemoglobin function in the blood. In the last few years, expression of hemoglobin has been found in atypical sites, including the brain. Transcripts for α and β chains of hemoglobin as well as hemoglobin immunoreactivity have been shown in mesencephalic A9 dopaminergic neurons, whose selective degeneration leads to Parkinson's disease. To gain further insights into the roles of hemoglobin in the brain, we examined its quaternary structure in dopaminergic neurons in vitro and in vivo. Our results indicate that (i) in mouse dopaminergic cell line stably over-expressing α and β chains, hemoglobin exists as an α2β2 tetramer; (ii) similarly to the over-expressed protein, endogenous hemoglobin forms a tetramer of 64kDa; (iii) hemoglobin also forms high molecular weight insoluble aggregates; and (iv) endogenous hemoglobin retains its tetrameric structure in mouse mesencephalon in vivo. In conclusion, these results suggest that neuronal hemoglobin may be endowed with some of the biochemical activities and biological function associated to its role in erythroid cells. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Oxygen Binding and Sensing Proteins.

  15. The Sensory Impact of Nicotine on Noradrenergic and Dopaminergic Neurons of the Nicotine Reward - Addiction Neurocircuitry.

    PubMed

    Rose, Jed E; Dehkordi, Ozra; Manaye, Kebreten F; Millis, Richard M; Cianaki, Salman Ameri; Jayam-Trouth, Annapurni

    2016-04-01

    The sensory experience of smoking is a key component of nicotine addiction known to result, in part, from stimulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) at peripheral sensory nerve endings. Such stimulation of nAChRs is followed by activation of neurons at multiple sites in the mesocorticolimbic reward pathways. However, the neurochemical profiles of CNS cells that mediate the peripheral sensory impact of nicotine remain unknown. In the present study in mice, we first used c-Fos immunohistochemistry to identify CNS cells stimulated by nicotine (NIC, 40 μg/kg, IP) and by a peripherally-acting analog of nicotine, nicotine pyrrolidine methiodide (NIC-PM, 30 μg/kg, IP). Sequential double-labelling was then performed to determine whether noradrenergic and dopaminergic neurons of the nicotine reward-addiction circuitry were primary targets of NIC and NIC-PM. Double-labelling of NIC and/or NIC-PM activated c-Fos immunoreactive cells with tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) showed no apparent c-Fos expression by the dopaminergic cells of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). With the exception of sparse numbers of TH immunoreactive D11 cells, dopamine-containing neurons in other areas of the reward-addiction circuitry, namely periaqueductal gray, and dorsal raphe, were also devoid of c-Fos immunoreactivity. Noradrenergic neurons of locus coeruleus (LC), known to innervate VTA, were activated by both NIC and NIC-PM. These results demonstrate that noradrenergic neurons of LC are among the first structures that are stimulated by single acute IP injection of NIC and NIC-PM. Dopaminergic neurons of VTA and other CNS sites, did not respond to acute IP administration of NIC or NIC-PM by induction of c-Fos.

  16. Lack of CCR5 modifies glial phenotypes and population of the nigral dopaminergic neurons, but not MPTP-induced dopaminergic neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Choi, Dong-Young; Lee, Myung Koo; Hong, Jin Tae

    2013-01-01

    Constitutive expression of C-C chemokine receptor (CCR) 5 has been detected in astrocytes, microglia and neurons, but its physiological roles in the central nervous system are obscure. The bidirectional interactions between neuron and glial cells through CCR5 and its ligands were thought to be crucial for maintaining normal neuronal activities. No study has described function of CCR5 in the dopaminergic neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease. In order to examine effects of CCR5 on 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced dopaminergic neurodegeneration, we employed CCR5 wild type (WT) and knockout (KO) mice. Immunostainings for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) exhibited that CCR5 KO mice had lower number of TH-positive neurons even in the absence of MPTP. Difference in MPTP (15mg/kg×4 times, 2hr interval)-mediated loss of TH-positive neurons was subtle between CCR5 WT and KO mice, but there was larger dopamine depletion, behavioral impairments and microglial activation in CCR5 deficient mice. Intriguingly, CCR5 KO brains contained higher immunoreactivity for monoamine oxidase (MAO) B which was mainly localized within astrocytes. In agreement with upregulation of MAO B, concentration of MPP+ was higher in the substantia nigra and striatum of CCR5 KO mice after MPTP injection. We found remarkable activation of p38 MAPK in CCR5 deficient mice, which positively regulates MAO B expression. These results indicate that CCR5 deficiency modifies the nigrostriatal dopaminergic neuronal system and bidirectional interaction between neurons and glial cells via CCR5 might be important for dopaminergic neuronal survival.

  17. The substantia nigra and ventral tegmental dopaminergic neurons from development to degeneration.

    PubMed

    Fu, YuHong; Paxinos, George; Watson, Charles; Halliday, Glenda M

    2016-10-01

    The pathology of Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterised by the loss of neurons in the substantia nigra parcompacta (A9), which results in the insufficient release of dopamine, and the appearance of motor symptoms. Not all neurons in the A9 subregions degenerate in PD, and the dopaminergic (DA) neurons located in the neighboring ventral tegmental area (A10) are relatively resistant to PD pathogenesis. An increasing number of quantitative studies using human tissue samples of these brain regions have revealed important biological differences. In this review, we first describe current knowledge on the multi-segmental neuromere origin of these DA neurons. We then compare the continued transcription factor and protein expression profile and morphological differences distinguishing subregions within the A9 substantia nigra, and between A9 and A10 DA neurons. We conclude that the expression of three types of factors and proteins contributes to the diversity observed in these DA neurons and potentially to their differential vulnerability to PD. In particular, the specific axonal structure of A9 neurons and the way A9 neurons maintain their DA usage makes them easily exposed to energy deficits, calcium overload and oxidative stress, all contributing to their decreased survival in PD. We highlight knowledge gaps in our understanding of the cellular biomarkers for and their different functions in DA neurons, knowledge which may assist to identify underpinning disease mechansims that could be targeted for the treatment of any subregional dysfunction and loss of these DA neurons.

  18. Disruption of LRRK2 Does Not Cause Specific Loss of Dopaminergic Neurons in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Guiqi; Xin, Shengchang; Li, Song; Zhong, Hanbing; Lin, Shuo

    2011-01-01

    Mutations in LRRK2 are genetically linked to Parkinson's disease (PD) but its normal biological function is largely unknown. Sheng et al. recently reported that deletion of the WD40 domain of LRRK2 in zebrafish specifically causes PD-like loss of neurons and behavior defect. However, our similar early study and recent confirming experiments using the same reagents reported by Sheng et al. failed to reproduce the phenotype of the loss of dopaminergic neurons, although the mRNA of LRRK2 was molecularly disrupted. Our study suggests that function of LRRK2 and its usefulness to generate zebrafish PD model needs further evaluation. PMID:21698186

  19. AAV.shRNA-mediated downregulation of ROCK2 attenuates degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in toxin-induced models of Parkinson's disease in vitro and in vivo.

    PubMed

    Saal, Kim-Ann; Koch, Jan C; Tatenhorst, Lars; Szegő, Eva M; Ribas, Vinicius Toledo; Michel, Uwe; Bähr, Mathias; Tönges, Lars; Lingor, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder with prominent neuronal cell death in the substantia nigra (SN) and other parts of the brain. Previous studies in models of traumatic and neurodegenerative CNS disease showed that pharmacological inhibition of Rho-associated kinase (ROCK), a molecule involved in inhibitory signaling in the CNS, by small-molecule inhibitors improves neuronal survival and increases regeneration. Most small-molecule inhibitors, however, offer only limited target specificity and also inhibit other kinases, including both ROCK isoforms. To establish the role of the predominantly brain-expressed ROCK2 isoform in models of regeneration and PD, we used adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV) to specifically knockdown ROCK2 in neurons. Rat primary midbrain neurons (PMN) were transduced with AAV expressing short-hairpin-RNA (shRNA) against ROCK2 and LIM-domain kinase 1 (LIMK1), one of the downstream targets of ROCK2. While knock-down of ROCK2 and LIMK1 both enhanced neurite regeneration in a traumatic scratch lesion model, only ROCK2-shRNA protected PMN against 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) toxicity. Moreover, AAV.ROCK2-shRNA increased levels of the pro-survival markers Bcl-2 and phospho-Erk1. In vivo, AAV.ROCK2-shRNA vectors were injected into the ipsilateral SN and a unilateral 6-OHDA striatal lesion was performed. After four weeks, behavioral, immunohistochemical and biochemical alterations were investigated. Downregulation of ROCK2 protected dopaminergic neurons in the SN from 6-OHDA-induced degeneration and resulted in significantly increased TH-positive neuron numbers. This effect, however, was confined to nigral neuronal somata as striatal terminal density, dopamine and metabolite levels were not significantly preserved. Interestingly, motor behavior was improved in the ROCK2-shRNA treated animals compared to control after four weeks. Our studies thus confirm ROCK2 as a promising therapeutic target in models of PD and

  20. Coupled oscillator model of the dopaminergic neuron of the substantia nigra.

    PubMed

    Wilson, C J; Callaway, J C

    2000-05-01

    Calcium imaging using fura-2 and whole cell recording revealed the effective location of the oscillator mechanism on dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra, pars compacta, in slices from rats aged 15-20 days. As previously reported, dopaminergic neurons fired in a slow rhythmic single spiking pattern. The underlying membrane potential oscillation survived blockade of sodium currents with TTX and was enhanced by blockade of voltage-sensitive potassium currents with TEA. Calcium levels increased during the subthreshold depolarizing phase of the membrane potential oscillation and peaked at the onset of the hyperpolarizing phase as expected if the pacemaker potential were due to a low-threshold calcium current and the hyperpolarizing phase to calcium-dependent potassium current. Calcium oscillations were synchronous in the dendrites and soma and were greater in the dendrites than in the soma. Average calcium levels in the dendrites overshot steady-state levels and decayed over the course of seconds after the oscillation was resumed after having been halted by hyperpolarizing currents. Average calcium levels in the soma increased slowly, taking many cycles to achieve steady state. Voltage clamp with calcium imaging revealed the voltage dependence of the somatic calcium current without the artifacts of incomplete spatial voltage control. This showed that the calcium current had little or no inactivation and was half-maximal at -40 to -30 mV. The time constant of calcium removal was measured by the return of calcium to resting levels and depended on diameter. The calcium sensitivity of the calcium-dependent potassium current was estimated by plotting the slow tail current against calcium concentration during the decay of calcium to resting levels at -60 mV. A single compartment model of the dopaminergic neuron consisting of a noninactivating low-threshold calcium current, a calcium-dependent potassium current, and a small leak current reproduced most features of the

  1. Social Isolation Blunted the Response of Mesocortical Dopaminergic Neurons to Chronic Ethanol Voluntary Intake

    PubMed Central

    Lallai, Valeria; Manca, Letizia; Dazzi, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that stress can increase the response of mesolimbic dopaminergic neurons to acute administration of drugs of abuse included ethanol. In this study, we investigated the possible involvement of the mesocortical dopaminergic pathway in the development of ethanol abuse under stress conditions. To this aim we trained both socially isolated (SI) and group housed (GH) rats to self administer ethanol which was made available only 2 ha day (from 11:00 to 13:00 h). Rats have been trained for 3 weeks starting at postnatal day 35. After training, rats were surgically implanted with microdialysis probes under deep anesthesia, and 24 hlater extracellular dopamine concentrations were monitored in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) for the 2 hpreceding ethanol administration (anticipatory phase), during ethanol exposure (consummatory phase) and for 2 hafter ethanol removal. Results show that, in GH animals, dopamine extracellular concentration in the mPFC increased as early as 80 min before ethanol presentation (+50% over basal values) and remained elevated for 80 min during ethanol exposure. In SI rats, on the contrary, dopamine extracellular concentration did not show any significant change at any time point. Ethanol consumption was significantly higher in SI than in GH rats. Moreover, mesocortical dopaminergic neurons in SI animals also showed a decreased sensitivity to an acute administration of ethanol with respect to GH rats. Our results show that prolonged exposure to stress, as in social isolation, is able to induce significant changes in the response of mesocortical dopaminergic neurons to ethanol exposure and suggest that these changes might play an important role in the compulsivity observed in ethanol addiction. PMID:27378852

  2. Social Isolation Blunted the Response of Mesocortical Dopaminergic Neurons to Chronic Ethanol Voluntary Intake.

    PubMed

    Lallai, Valeria; Manca, Letizia; Dazzi, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that stress can increase the response of mesolimbic dopaminergic neurons to acute administration of drugs of abuse included ethanol. In this study, we investigated the possible involvement of the mesocortical dopaminergic pathway in the development of ethanol abuse under stress conditions. To this aim we trained both socially isolated (SI) and group housed (GH) rats to self administer ethanol which was made available only 2 ha day (from 11:00 to 13:00 h). Rats have been trained for 3 weeks starting at postnatal day 35. After training, rats were surgically implanted with microdialysis probes under deep anesthesia, and 24 hlater extracellular dopamine concentrations were monitored in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) for the 2 hpreceding ethanol administration (anticipatory phase), during ethanol exposure (consummatory phase) and for 2 hafter ethanol removal. Results show that, in GH animals, dopamine extracellular concentration in the mPFC increased as early as 80 min before ethanol presentation (+50% over basal values) and remained elevated for 80 min during ethanol exposure. In SI rats, on the contrary, dopamine extracellular concentration did not show any significant change at any time point. Ethanol consumption was significantly higher in SI than in GH rats. Moreover, mesocortical dopaminergic neurons in SI animals also showed a decreased sensitivity to an acute administration of ethanol with respect to GH rats. Our results show that prolonged exposure to stress, as in social isolation, is able to induce significant changes in the response of mesocortical dopaminergic neurons to ethanol exposure and suggest that these changes might play an important role in the compulsivity observed in ethanol addiction.

  3. HIV Subtypes B and C gp120 and Methamphetamine Interaction: Dopaminergic System Implicates Differential Neuronal Toxicity.

    PubMed

    Samikkannu, Thangavel; Rao, Kurapati V K; Salam, Abdul Ajees Abdul; Atluri, Venkata S R; Kaftanovskaya, Elena M; Agudelo, Marisela; Perez, Suray; Yoo, Changwon; Raymond, Andrea D; Ding, Hong; Nair, Madhavan P N

    2015-06-09

    HIV subtypes or clades differentially induce HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) and substance abuse is known to accelerate HIV disease progression. The HIV-1 envelope protein gp120 plays a major role in binding and budding in the central nervous system (CNS) and impacts dopaminergic functions. However, the mechanisms utilized by HIV-1 clades to exert differential effects and the methamphetamine (METH)-associated dopaminergic dysfunction are poorly understood. We hypothesized that clade B and C gp120 structural sequences, modeling based analysis, dopaminergic effect, and METH potentiate neuronal toxicity in astrocytes. We evaluated the effect of clade B and C gp120 and/or METH on the DRD-2, DAT, CaMKs and CREBP transcription. Both the structural sequence and modeling studies demonstrated that clade B gp120 in V1-V4, α -2 and N-glycosylated sites are distinct from clade C gp120. The distinct structure and sequence variation of clade B gp120 differentially impact DRD-2, DAT, CaMK II and CaMK IV mRNA, protein and intracellular expression compared to clade C gp120. However, CREB transcription is upregulated by both clade B and C gp120, and METH co-treatment potentiated these effects. In conclusion, distinct structural sequences of HIV-1 clade B and C gp120 differentially regulate the dopaminergic pathway and METH potentiates neurotoxicity.

  4. Experimental strategy to identify genes susceptible to oxidative stress in nigral dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Myung S; Kawamata, Hibiki; Kim, Dae J; Chun, Hong S; Son, Jin H

    2004-06-01

    Neuropathological evidence from both human and experimental models of Parkinson's disease (PD) firmly supports a significant role for oxidative stress (OS) in the death of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in substantia nigra. Largely unknown are the genes underlying selective susceptibility of nigral DA neuron to OS and how they effect nigral DA cell death. The major barriers to high-throughput identification of candidate genes are the paucity of nigral DA neurons as well as the dilution effect of non-DA cells both in primary cultures and brain tissues. To overcome these barriers, we have developed a DA cell line model, SN4741, appropriate for cDNA microarray analysis. Candidate genes were selected from both the microarray analysis and the molecular implication of their pathological mechanisms (i.e., decreased mitochondrial complex I activity and proteasomal dysfunction) of PD. Subsequent secondary validation tests were devised to characterize genes including clone #45 that may underlie selective vulnerability of nigral DA neuron to OS.

  5. 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.

  6. In vitro generation of mature midbrain-type dopamine neurons by adjusting exogenous Nurr1 and Foxa2 expressions to their physiologic patterns

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Taeho; Song, Jae-Jin; Puspita, Lesly; Valiulahi, Parvin; Shim, Jae-won; Lee, Sang-Hun

    2017-01-01

    Developmental information aids stem cell biologists in producing tissue-specific cells. Recapitulation of the developmental profile of a specific cell type in an in vitro stem cell system provides a strategy for manipulating cell-fate choice during the differentiation process. Nurr1 and Foxa2 are potential candidates for genetic engineering to generate midbrain-type dopamine (DA) neurons for experimental and therapeutic applications in Parkinson's disease (PD), as forced expression of these genes in neural stem/precursor cells (NPCs) yields cells with a complete battery of midbrain DA neuron-specific genes. However, simple overexpression without considering their expression pattern in the developing midbrain tends to generate DA cells without adequate neuronal maturation and long-term maintenance of their phenotype in vitro and in vivo after transplantation. We here show that the physiological levels and timing of Nurr1 and Foxa2 expression can be replicated in NPCs by choosing the right vectors and promoters. Controlled expression combined with a strategy for transgene expression maintenance induced generation of fully mature midbrain-type DA neurons. These findings demonstrate the feasibility of cellular engineering for artificial cell-fate specification. PMID:28280264

  7. Estrogen inhibits tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic neurons but does not cause irreversible damage.

    PubMed

    Morel, Gustavo R; Carón, Rubén W; Cónsole, Gloria M; Soaje, Marta; Sosa, Yolanda E; Rodríguez, Silvia S; Jahn, Graciela A; Goya, Rodolfo G

    2009-12-16

    Dopaminergic neurons of the hypothalamic tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic (TIDA) system exert a tonic inhibitory control on prolactin (PRL) secretion whereas estrogen, known to inhibit TIDA neuron function, has been postulated to be toxic to TIDA neurons when it is chronically high. In order to determine whether estrogen in high doses can cause permanent damage to TIDA function, we submitted young female rats to continue high doses of estrogen administered, either centrally (intrahypothalamic estrogen implants) or peripherally (subcutaneous estrogen implants or weekly intramuscular (i.m.) injections for 7 weeks), subsequently withdrawing the steroid and observing the evolution of lactotrophes, serum PRL and TIDA neurons. Serum PRL was measured by radioimmunoassay whereas tyrosine hydroxylase positive (TH+) neurons and PRL cells were morphometrically assessed in sections of fixed hypothalami and pituitaries, respectively. After 30 days, hypothalamic estrogen implants induced a significant increase in serum PRL, whereas TH+ neurons were not detectable in the arcuate-periventricular hypothalamic (ARC) region of estrogen-implanted rats. Removal of implants on day 30 restored TH expression in the ARC and brought serum PRL back to basal levels 30 days after estrogen withdrawal. Subcutaneous or i.m. administration of estrogen for 7 weeks induced a marked hyperprolactinemia. However, 30 weeks after estrogen withdrawal, TH neuron numbers in the ARC were back to normal and serum PRL returned to basal levels. After peripheral but not central estrogen withdrawal, pituitary weight and lactotrophic cell numbers remained slightly increased. Our data suggest that estrogen even at high doses, does not cause permanent damage to TIDA neurons.

  8. A new dopaminergic nigro-olfactory projection.

    PubMed

    Höglinger, Günter U; Alvarez-Fischer, Daniel; Arias-Carrión, Oscar; Djufri, Miriam; Windolph, Andrea; Keber, Ursula; Borta, Andreas; Ries, Vincent; Schwarting, Rainer K W; Scheller, Dieter; Oertel, Wolfgang H

    2015-09-01

    Parkinson disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by massive loss of midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Whereas onset of motor impairments reflects a rather advanced stage of the disorder, hyposmia often marks the beginning of the disease. Little is known about the role of the nigro-striatal system in olfaction under physiological conditions and the anatomical basis of hyposmia in PD. Yet, the early occurrence of olfactory dysfunction implies that pathogens such as environmental toxins could incite the disease via the olfactory system. In the present study, we demonstrate a dopaminergic innervation from neurons in the substantia nigra to the olfactory bulb by axonal tracing studies. Injection of two dopaminergic neurotoxins-1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium and 6-hydroxydopamine-into the olfactory bulb induced a decrease in the number of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. In turn, ablation of the nigral projection led to impaired olfactory perception. Hyposmia following dopaminergic deafferentation was reversed by treatment with the D1/D2/D3 dopamine receptor agonist rotigotine. Hence, we demonstrate for the first time the existence of a direct dopaminergic projection into the olfactory bulb and identify its origin in the substantia nigra in rats. These observations may provide a neuroanatomical basis for invasion of environmental toxins into the basal ganglia and for hyposmia as frequent symptom in PD.

  9. Tiagabine Protects Dopaminergic Neurons against Neurotoxins by Inhibiting Microglial Activation

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jie; Huang, Dongping; Xu, Jing; Tong, Jiabin; Wang, Zishan; Huang, Li; Yang, Yufang; Bai, Xiaochen; Wang, Pan; Suo, Haiyun; Ma, Yuanyuan; Yu, Mei; Fei, Jian; Huang, Fang

    2015-01-01

    Microglial activation and inflammation are associated with progressive neuronal apoptosis in neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD). γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, has recently been shown to play an inhibitory role in the immune system. Tiagabine, a piperidine derivative, enhances GABAergic transmission by inhibiting GABA transporter 1 (GAT 1). In the present study, we found that tiagabine pretreatment attenuated microglial activation, provided partial protection to the nigrostriatal axis and improved motor deficits in a methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of PD. The protective function of tiagabine was abolished in GAT 1 knockout mice that were challenged with MPTP. In an alternative PD model, induced by intranigral infusion of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), microglial suppression and subsequent neuroprotective effects of tiagabine were demonstrated. Furthermore, the LPS-induced inflammatory activation of BV-2 microglial cells and the toxicity of conditioned medium toward SH-SY5Y cells were inhibited by pretreatment with GABAergic drugs. The attenuation of the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and the inhibition of the generation of inflammatory mediators were the underlying mechanisms. Our results suggest that tiagabine acts as a brake for nigrostriatal microglial activation and that it might be a novel therapeutic approach for PD. PMID:26499517

  10. Tiagabine Protects Dopaminergic Neurons against Neurotoxins by Inhibiting Microglial Activation.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jie; Huang, Dongping; Xu, Jing; Tong, Jiabin; Wang, Zishan; Huang, Li; Yang, Yufang; Bai, Xiaochen; Wang, Pan; Suo, Haiyun; Ma, Yuanyuan; Yu, Mei; Fei, Jian; Huang, Fang

    2015-10-26

    Microglial activation and inflammation are associated with progressive neuronal apoptosis in neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD). γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, has recently been shown to play an inhibitory role in the immune system. Tiagabine, a piperidine derivative, enhances GABAergic transmission by inhibiting GABA transporter 1 (GAT 1). In the present study, we found that tiagabine pretreatment attenuated microglial activation, provided partial protection to the nigrostriatal axis and improved motor deficits in a methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of PD. The protective function of tiagabine was abolished in GAT 1 knockout mice that were challenged with MPTP. In an alternative PD model, induced by intranigral infusion of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), microglial suppression and subsequent neuroprotective effects of tiagabine were demonstrated. Furthermore, the LPS-induced inflammatory activation of BV-2 microglial cells and the toxicity of conditioned medium toward SH-SY5Y cells were inhibited by pretreatment with GABAergic drugs. The attenuation of the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and the inhibition of the generation of inflammatory mediators were the underlying mechanisms. Our results suggest that tiagabine acts as a brake for nigrostriatal microglial activation and that it might be a novel therapeutic approach for PD.

  11. 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.

  12. Parkin functionally interacts with PGC-1α to preserve mitochondria and protect dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Lu; Bernard-Marissal, Nathalie; Moullan, Norman; D'Amico, Davide; Auwerx, Johan; Moore, Darren J; Knott, Graham; Aebischer, Patrick; Schneider, Bernard L

    2017-01-04

    To understand the cause of Parkinson's disease (PD), it is important to determine the functional interactions between factors linked to the disease. Parkin is associated with autosomal recessive early-onset PD, and controls the transcription of PGC-1α, a master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis. These two factors functionally interact to regulate the turnover and quality of mitochondria, by increasing both mitophagic activity and mitochondria biogenesis. In cortical neurons, co-expressing PGC-1α and Parkin increases the number of mitochondria, enhances maximal respiration, and accelerates the recovery of the mitochondrial membrane potential following mitochondrial uncoupling. PGC-1α enhances Mfn2 transcription, but also leads to increased degradation of the Mfn2 protein, a key ubiquitylation target of Parkin on mitochondria. In vivo, Parkin has significant protective effects on the survival and function of nigral dopaminergic neurons in which the chronic expression of PGC-1α is induced. Ultrastructural analysis shows that these two factors together control the density of mitochondria and their interaction with the endoplasmic reticulum These results highlight the combined effects of Parkin and PGC-1α in the maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis in dopaminergic neurons. These two factors synergistically control the quality and function of mitochondria, which is important for the survival of neurons in Parkinson's disease.

  13. Motor Behavior Mediated by Continuously Generated Dopaminergic Neurons in the Zebrafish Hypothalamus Recovers After Cell Ablation

    PubMed Central

    McPherson, Adam D.; Barrios, Joshua P.; Luks-Morgan, Sasha J.; Manfredi, John P.; Bonkowsky, Joshua L.; Douglass, Adam D.; Dorsky, Richard I.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Postembryonic neurogenesis has been observed in several regions of the vertebrate brain, including the dentate gyrus and rostral migratory stream in mammals, and is required for normal behavior [1–3]. Recently the hypothalamus has also been shown to undergo continuous neurogenesis as a way to mediate energy balance [4–10]. As the hypothalamus regulates multiple functional outputs, it is likely that additional behaviors may be affected by postembryonic neurogenesis in this brain structure. Here, we have identified a progenitor population in the zebrafish hypothalamus that continuously generates neurons that express tyrosine hydroxylase 2 (th2). We develop and use novel transgenic tools to characterize the lineage of th2+ cells and demonstrate that they are dopaminergic. Through genetic ablation and optogenetic activation we then show that th2+ neurons modulate the initiation of swimming behavior in zebrafish larvae. Finally we find that the generation of new th2+ neurons following ablation correlates with restoration of normal behavior. This work thus identifies for the first time a population of dopaminergic neurons that regulates motor behavior capable of functional recovery. PMID:26774784

  14. Blockade of RyRs in the ER Attenuates 6-OHDA-Induced Calcium Overload, Cellular Hypo-Excitability and Apoptosis in Dopaminergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Lu; Xue, Ying; Feng, DaYun; Yang, RuiXin; Nie, Tiejian; Zhu, Gang; Tao, Kai; Gao, GuoDong; Yang, Qian

    2017-01-01

    Calcium (Ca2+) dyshomeostasis induced by endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is an important molecular mechanism of selective dopaminergic (DA) neuron loss in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptors (IP3Rs) and ryanodine receptors (RyRs), which are located on the ER surface, are the main endogenous Ca2+ release channels and play crucial roles in regulating Ca2+ homeostasis. However, the roles of these endogenous Ca2+ release channels in PD and their effects on the function and survival of DA neurons remain unknown. In this study, using a 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced in vitro PD model (SN4741 Cell line), we found that 6-OHDA significantly increased cytoplasmic Ca2+ levels ([Ca2+]i), which was attenuated by pretreatment with 4-phenyl butyric acid (4-PBA; an ER stress inhibitor) or ryanodine (a RyRs blocker). In addition, in acute midbrain slices of male Sprague-Dawley rats, we found that 6-OHDA reduced the spike number and rheobase of DA neurons, which were also reversed by pretreatment with 4-PBA and ryanodine. TUNEL staining and MTT assays also showed that 4-PBA and ryanodine obviously alleviated 6-OHDA-induced cell apoptosis and devitalization. Interestingly, a IP3Rs blocker had little effect on the above 6-OHDA-induced neurotoxicity in DA neurons. In conclusion, our findings provide evidence of the different roles of IP3Rs and RyRs in the regulation of endogenous Ca2+ homeostasis, neuronal excitability, and viability in DA neurons, and suggest a potential therapeutic strategy for PD by inhibiting the RyRs Ca2+ channels in the ER. PMID:28316566

  15. Beneficial effects of carnosic acid on dieldrin-induced dopaminergic neuronal cell death.

    PubMed

    Park, Jeong Ae; Kim, Seung; Lee, Sook-Young; Kim, Chun-Sung; Kim, Do Kyung; Kim, Sung-Jun; Chun, Hong Sung

    2008-08-27

    Carnosic acid (CA) is one of the bioactive polyphenols present in extracts of the herb rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis). In this study, we examined possible protective effects of CA on neurotoxicity induced by dieldrin, an organochlorine pesticide implicated in sporadic Parkinson's disease, in cultured dopaminergic cells (SN4741). CA (5-10 muM) pretreatment showed potent protective effects in a concentration-related manner and prevented dieldrin (10 muM)-induced caspase-3 activation, Jun N-terminal kinase phosphorylation, and caspase-12 activation. Furthermore, dieldrin-induced downregulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor production was significantly attenuated by CA. These results suggest that CA may safeguard dopaminergic neuronal cells from environmental neurotoxins by enhancing brain-derived neurotrophic factor and repressing apoptotic molecules.

  16. Histone Hyperacetylation Up-regulates Protein Kinase Cδ in Dopaminergic Neurons to Induce Cell Death

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Huajun; Kanthasamy, Arthi; Harischandra, Dilshan S.; Kondru, Naveen; Ghosh, Anamitra; Panicker, Nikhil; Anantharam, Vellareddy; Rana, Ajay; Kanthasamy, Anumantha G.

    2014-01-01

    The oxidative stress-sensitive protein kinase Cδ (PKCδ) has been implicated in dopaminergic neuronal cell death. However, little is known about the epigenetic mechanisms regulating PKCδ expression in neurons. Here, we report a novel mechanism by which the PKCδ gene can be regulated by histone acetylation. Treatment with histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor sodium butyrate (NaBu) induced PKCδ expression in cultured neurons, brain slices, and animal models. Several other HDAC inhibitors also mimicked NaBu. The chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that hyperacetylation of histone H4 by NaBu is associated with the PKCδ promoter. Deletion analysis of the PKCδ promoter mapped the NaBu-responsive element to an 81-bp minimal promoter region. Detailed mutagenesis studies within this region revealed that four GC boxes conferred hyperacetylation-induced PKCδ promoter activation. Cotransfection experiments and Sp inhibitor studies demonstrated that Sp1, Sp3, and Sp4 regulated NaBu-induced PKCδ up-regulation. However, NaBu did not alter the DNA binding activities of Sp proteins or their expression. Interestingly, a one-hybrid analysis revealed that NaBu enhanced transcriptional activity of Sp1/Sp3. Overexpression of the p300/cAMP-response element-binding protein-binding protein (CBP) potentiated the NaBu-mediated transactivation potential of Sp1/Sp3, but expressing several HDACs attenuated this effect, suggesting that p300/CBP and HDACs act as coactivators or corepressors in histone acetylation-induced PKCδ up-regulation. Finally, using genetic and pharmacological approaches, we showed that NaBu up-regulation of PKCδ sensitizes neurons to cell death in a human dopaminergic cell model and brain slice cultures. Together, these results indicate that histone acetylation regulates PKCδ expression to augment nigrostriatal dopaminergic cell death, which could contribute to the progressive neuropathogenesis of Parkinson disease. PMID:25342743

  17. Electrophysiological profile of the new atypical neuroleptic, sertindole, on midbrain dopamine neurones in rats: acute and repeated treatment.

    PubMed

    Skarsfeldt, T

    1992-01-01

    Sertindole (Lundbeck code No. Lu 23-174) (1-[2-[4-[5-chloro-1-(4-fluorophenyl)-1H-indol-3-yl]-1-piperidinyl] ethyl]-2-imidazolidinone) is a new potential neuroleptic compound. After 3 weeks of treatment sertindole shows an extreme selectivity to inhibit the number of spontaneously active dopaminergic (DA) neurones in ventral tegmental area (VTA) while leaving the number of active DA neurones in substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC) unaffected. Acute injection of apomorphine or baclofen reverse the inhibition of activity seen after repeated treatment with sertindole. This suggests that sertindole induces a depolarization inactivation of the DA neurones. The depolarization inactivation is reversible since normal activity of DA neurones is found in both SNC and VTA after two weeks withdrawal from repeated treatment with a low dose with sertindole. One or two weeks administration of a high dose of sertindole induced only minor effects on the DA neurones in VTA; i.e., in order to obtain the depolarization inactivation sertindole requires 3 weeks of treatment as has also been reported for other neuroleptics. Three weeks of treatment with clozapine induces a selective inhibition of the active DA neurones in VTA but at much higher doses than seen with sertindole, while haloperidol induces a non-selective decrease of spontaneously active DA neurones in both areas. In acute electrophysiological experiments intravenous (i.v.) administration of sertindole--in contrast to both clozapine and haloperidol--neither reverse d-amphetamine- nor apomorphine-induced inhibition of the firing frequencies of DA neurones in SNC or in VTA. In addition, sertindole does not--even in high doses--increase the firing frequency of DA neurones in SNC or VTA.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  18. 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.

  19. Effects of Forskolin on Trefoil factor 1 expression in cultured ventral mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Jensen, P; Ducray, A D; Widmer, H R; Meyer, M

    2015-12-03

    Trefoil factor 1 (TFF1) belongs to a family of secreted peptides that are mainly expressed in the gastrointestinal tract. Notably, TFF1 has been suggested to operate as a neuropeptide, however, its specific cellular expression, regulation and function remain largely unknown. We have previously shown that TFF1 is expressed in developing and adult rat ventral mesencephalic tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive (TH-ir) dopaminergic neurons. Here, we investigated the expression of TFF1 in rat ventral mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons (embryonic day 14) grown in culture for 5, 7 or 10 days in the absence (controls) or presence of either glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), Forskolin or the combination. No TFF1-ir cells were identified at day 5 and only a few at day 7, whereas TH was markedly expressed at both time points. At day 10, several TFF1-ir cells were detected, and their numbers were significantly increased after the addition of GDNF (2.2-fold) or Forskolin (4.1-fold) compared to controls. Furthermore, the combination of GDNF and Forskolin had an additive effect and increased the number of TFF1-ir cells by 5.6-fold compared to controls. TFF1 expression was restricted to neuronal cells, and the percentage of TH/TFF1 co-expressing cells was increased to the same extent in GDNF and Forskolin-treated cultures (4-fold) as compared to controls. Interestingly, the combination of GDNF and Forskolin resulted in a significantly increased co-expression (8-fold) of TH/TFF1, which could indicate that GDNF and Forskolin targeted different subpopulations of TH/TFF1 neurons. Short-term treatment with Forskolin resulted in an increased number of TFF1-ir cells, and this effect was significantly reduced by the MEK1 inhibitor PD98059 or the protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor H89, suggesting that Forskolin induced TFF1 expression through diverse signaling pathways. In conclusion, distinct populations of cultured dopaminergic neurons express TFF1, and their numbers can be

  20. Auditory Distance Coding in Rabbit Midbrain Neurons and Human Perception: Monaural Amplitude Modulation Depth as a Cue

    PubMed Central

    Zahorik, Pavel; Carney, Laurel H.; Bishop, Brian B.; Kuwada, Shigeyuki

    2015-01-01

    Mechanisms underlying sound source distance localization are not well understood. Here we tested the hypothesis that a novel mechanism can create monaural distance sensitivity: a combination of auditory midbrain neurons' sensitivity to amplitude modulation (AM) depth and distance-dependent loss of AM in reverberation. We used virtual auditory space (VAS) methods for sounds at various distances in anechoic and reverberant environments. Stimulus level was constant across distance. With increasing modulation depth, some rabbit inferior colliculus neurons increased firing rates whereas others decreased. These neurons exhibited monotonic relationships between firing rates and distance for monaurally presented noise when two conditions were met: (1) the sound had AM, and (2) the environment was reverberant. The firing rates as a function of distance remained approximately constant without AM in either environment and, in an anechoic condition, even with AM. We corroborated this finding by reproducing the distance sensitivity using a neural model. We also conducted a human psychophysical study using similar methods. Normal-hearing listeners reported perceived distance in response to monaural 1 octave 4 kHz noise source sounds presented at distances of 35–200 cm. We found parallels between the rabbit neural and human responses. In both, sound distance could be discriminated only if the monaural sound in reverberation had AM. These observations support the hypothesis. When other cues are available (e.g., in binaural hearing), how much the auditory system actually uses the AM as a distance cue remains to be determined. PMID:25834060

  1. Efficient induction of dopaminergic neuron differentiation from induced pluripotent stem cells reveals impaired mitophagy in PARK2 neurons.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Sadafumi; Akamatsu, Wado; Kisa, Fumihiko; Sone, Takefumi; Ishikawa, Kei-Ichi; Kuzumaki, Naoko; Katayama, Hiroyuki; Miyawaki, Atsushi; Hattori, Nobutaka; Okano, Hideyuki

    2017-01-29

    Patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) show promise for use as tools for in vitro modeling of Parkinson's disease. We sought to improve the efficiency of dopaminergic (DA) neuron induction from iPSCs by the using surface markers expressed in DA progenitors to increase the significance of the phenotypic analysis. By sorting for a CD184(high)/CD44(-) fraction during neural differentiation, we obtained a population of cells that were enriched in DA neuron precursor cells and achieved higher differentiation efficiencies than those obtained through the same protocol without sorting. This high efficiency method of DA neuronal induction enabled reliable detection of reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and vulnerable phenotypes in PARK2 iPSCs-derived DA neurons. We additionally established a quantitative system using the mt-mKeima reporter system to monitor mitophagy in which mitochondria fuse with lysosomes and, by combining this system with the method of DA neuronal induction described above, determined that mitophagy is impaired in PARK2 neurons. These findings suggest that the efficiency of DA neuron induction is important for the precise detection of cellular phenotypes in modeling Parkinson's disease.

  2. A novel floor plate boundary defined by adjacent En1 and Dbx1 microdomains distinguishes midbrain dopamine and hypothalamic neurons.

    PubMed

    Nouri, Navid; Awatramani, Rajeshwar

    2017-03-01

    The mesodiencephalic floor plate (mdFP) is the source of diverse neuron types. Yet, how this structure is compartmentalized has not been clearly elucidated. Here, we identify a novel boundary subdividing the mdFP into two microdomains, defined by engrailed 1 (En1) and developing brain homeobox 1 (Dbx1). Utilizing simultaneous dual and intersectional fate mapping, we demonstrate that this boundary is precisely formed with minimal overlap between En1 and Dbx1 microdomains, unlike many other boundaries. We show that the En1 microdomain gives rise to dopaminergic (DA) neurons, whereas the Dbx1 microdomain gives rise to subthalamic (STN), premammillary (PM) and posterior hypothalamic (PH) populations. To determine whether En1 is sufficient to induce DA neuron production beyond its normal limit, we generated a mouse strain that expresses En1 in the Dbx1 microdomain. In mutants, we observed ectopic production of DA neurons derived from the Dbx1 microdomain, at the expense of STN and PM populations. Our findings provide new insights into subdivisions in the mdFP, and will impact current strategies for the conversion of stem cells into DA neurons.

  3. Early postnatal administration of growth hormone increases tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic neuron numbers in Ames dwarf mice.

    PubMed

    Khodr, Christina E; Clark, Sara; Bokov, Alex F; Richardson, Arlan; Strong, Randy; Hurley, David L; Phelps, Carol J

    2010-07-01

    Hypothalamic tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic (TIDA) neurons secrete dopamine, which inhibits pituitary prolactin (PRL) secretion. PRL has demonstrated neurotrophic effects on TIDA neuron development in PRL-, GH-, and TSH-deficient Ames (df/df) and Snell (dw/dw) dwarf mice. However, both PRL and PRL receptor knockout mice exhibit normal-sized TIDA neuron numbers, implying GH and/or TSH influence TIDA neuron development. The current study investigated the effect of porcine (p) GH on TIDA neuron development in Ames dwarf hypothalamus. Normal (DF/df) and dwarf mice were treated daily with pGH or saline beginning at 3 d of age for a period of 42 d. After treatment, brains were analyzed using catecholamine histofluorescence, tyrosine hydroxylase immunocytochemistry, and bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) immunocytochemistry to detect BrdU incorporation. DF/df males and df/df treated with pGH experienced increased (P neuron numbers than df/df, regardless of treatment. TIDA neuron number in pGH-treated df/df was greater (P neurons were not affected by treatment or genotype. There was no effect of genotype or treatment on BrdU incorporation in the arcuate nucleus, median eminence, or periventricular region surrounding the third ventricle. Saline-treated df/df experienced decreased (P neuron development, although this effect is less potent than that of PRL, and likely GH-induced preservation of TIDA neurons rather than generation of new TIDA neurons via neurogenesis.

  4. Lipid-like components released from degenerating dopaminergic neurons trigger the dynamic migration of microglia.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyemin; Park, June-Hee; Kim, Kyungjin

    2012-09-14

    In the brain, communication between neural and non-neural cells is crucial for the proper functioning of the central nervous system. Microglia play an important role in the clearance of neural cellular corpses and debris, especially under pathological conditions. It remains, however, unclear how microglia sense the degenerating neurons at a distance in order to migrate to them. In the present study, we explored the interaction between neurons and microglia using an in vitro model of Parkinson's disease (PD). In primary mesencephalic neuronal cultures, 1-methyl-4-phenylpridinium (MPP(+)) induced the selective death of dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Transmigration assay showed that the conditioned medium (CM) from mesencephalic cultures treated with MPP(+) was enough to trigger the attraction of microglia at an early as well as a late phase of neuronal damage. Microglia preferably reacted with the soluble parts separated by ultracentrifugation over the neural debris-containing pellets. This chemoattractive activity was significantly reduced by the removal of the lipidic components in CM, but not by the removal of proteins, DNA or RNA. These results suggest that as yet-unidentified lipid-like components released from dying DAergic neurons are likely to recruit microglia, and thus have a role in neuronal damage.

  5. Functional Dopaminergic Neurons in Substantia Nigra are Required for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation-Induced Motor Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Tsung-Hsun; Huang, Ying-Zu; Rotenberg, Alexander; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Chiang, Yung-Hsiao; Wang, Jia-Yi; Chen, Jia-Jin J

    2015-07-01

    Repetitive magnetic stimulation (rTMS), including theta burst stimulation (TBS), is capable of modulating motor cortical excitability through plasticity-like mechanisms and might have therapeutic potential for Parkinson's disease (PD). An animal model would be helpful for elucidating the mechanism of rTMS that remain unclear and controversial. Here, we have established a TMS model in rat and applied this model to study the impact of substantia nigra dopamine neuron on TBS-induced motor plasticity in PD rats. In parallel with human results, continuous TBS (cTBS) successfully suppressed motor evoked potentials (MEPs), while MEPs increased after intermittent TBS (iTBS) in healthy rats. We then tested the effect of iTBS in early and advanced 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-lesioned PD. Moreover, dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra and rotation behavior were assessed to correlate with the amount of iTBS-induced plasticity. In results, iTBS-induced potentiation was reduced in early PD rats and was absent in advanced PD rats. Such reduction in plasticity strongly correlated with the dopaminergic cell loss and the count of rotation in PD rats. In conclusion, we have established a TMS PD rat model. With the help of this model, we confirmed the loss of domaninergic neurons in substantia nigra resulting in reduced rTMS-induced motor plasticity in PD.

  6. Induction of dopaminergic neurons from human Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cell by forskolin.

    PubMed

    Paldino, Emanuela; Cenciarelli, Carlo; Giampaolo, Adele; Milazzo, Luisa; Pescatori, Mario; Hassan, Hamisa Jane; Casalbore, Patrizia

    2014-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells differentiation ability toward neuronal fate. Human Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells (hWJMSC) have been isolated from human umbilical cord of full-term births and characterized by flow cytometry analysis for their stem mesenchymal properties through specific surface markers expression (CD73, CD90, and CD105). hWJMSC mesodermal lineage differentiation ability and karyotype analysis were assessed. The trans-differentiation of hWJMSC into neural lineage was investigated in presence of forskolin, an agent known to increase the intracellular levels of cAMP. A molecular profile of differentiated hWJMSC was performed by microarray technology which revealed 1,532 statistically significant modulated genes respect to control cells. Most of these genes are mainly involved in functional neuronal signaling pathways and part of them are specifically required for the neuronal dopaminergic induction. The acquisition of the dopaminergic phenotype was evaluated via immunocytochemistry and Western blot analysis revealed the significant induction of Nurr1, NeuroD1, and TH proteins expression in forskolin-induced hWJMSC. Moreover, the treatment with forskolin promoted, in hWJMSC, a strong upregulation of the neurotrophin Trk receptors related to the high release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Taken together these findings show that hWJMSC may be represent an optimal therapeutic strategy for neurological diseases.

  7. Effects of dopaminergic modulation on the integrative properties of the ventral striatal medium spiny neuron.

    PubMed

    Moyer, Jason T; Wolf, John A; Finkel, Leif H

    2007-12-01

    Dopaminergic modulation produces a variety of functional changes in the principal cell of the striatum, the medium spiny neuron (MSN). Using a 189-compartment computational model of a ventral striatal MSN, we simulated whole cell D1- and D2-receptor-mediated modulation of both intrinsic (sodium, calcium, and potassium) and synaptic currents (AMPA and NMDA). Dopamine (DA) modulations in the model were based on a review of published experiments in both ventral and dorsal striatum. To objectively assess the net effects of DA modulation, we combined reported individual channel modulations into either D1- or D2-receptor modulation conditions and studied them separately. Contrary to previous suggestions, we found that D1 modulation had no effect on MSN nonlinearity and could not induce bistability. In agreement with previous suggestions, we found that dopaminergic modulation leads to changes in input filtering and neuronal excitability. Importantly, the changes in neuronal excitability agree with the classical model of basal ganglia function. We also found that DA modulation can alter the integration time window of the MSN. Interestingly, the effects of DA modulation of synaptic properties opposed the effects of DA modulation of intrinsic properties, with the synaptic modulations generally dominating the net effect. We interpret this lack of synergy to suggest that the regulation of whole cell integrative properties is not the primary functional purpose of DA. We suggest that D1 modulation might instead primarily regulate calcium influx to dendritic spines through NMDA and L-type calcium channels, by both direct and indirect mechanisms.

  8. Suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, protects dopaminergic neurons from neurotoxin-induced damage

    PubMed Central

    Chen, SH; Wu, HM; Ossola, B; Schendzielorz, N; Wilson, BC; Chu, CH; Chen, SL; Wang, Q; Zhang, D; Qian, L; Li, X; Hong, JS; Lu, RB

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Prevention or disease-modifying therapies are critical for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. However, no such intervention is currently available. Growing evidence has demonstrated that administration of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors ameliorates a wide range of neurologic and psychiatric disorders in experimental models. Suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) was the first HDAC inhibitor approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the sole use of cancer therapy. The purpose of this study was to explore the potential new indications of SAHA for therapy of neurodegenerative diseases in in vitro Parkinson's disease models. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Mesencephalic neuron–glia cultures and reconstituted cultures were used to investigate neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects of SAHA. We measured toxicity in dopaminergic neurons, using dopamine uptake assay and morphological analysis and expression of neurotrophic substances by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and real-time RT PCR. KEY RESULTS In mesencephalic neuron–glia cultures, SAHA displayed dose- and time-dependent prolongation of the survival and protection against neurotoxin-induced neuronal death of dopaminergic neurons. Mechanistic studies revealed that the neuroprotective effects of SAHA were mediated in part by promoting release of neurotrophic factors from astroglia through inhibition of histone deacetylation. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS The novel neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects of SAHA demonstrated in this study suggest that further study of this HDAC inhibitor could provide a new therapeutic approach to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:21726209

  9. Aminochrome induces dopaminergic neuronal dysfunction: a new animal model for Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Herrera, Andrea; Muñoz, Patricia; Paris, Irmgard; Díaz-Veliz, Gabriela; Mora, Sergio; Inzunza, Jose; Hultenby, Kjell; Cardenas, Cesar; Jaña, Fabián; Raisman-Vozari, Rita; Gysling, Katia; Abarca, Jorge; Steinbusch, Harry W M; Segura-Aguilar, Juan

    2016-09-01

    L-Dopa continues to be the gold drug in Parkinson's disease (PD) treatment from 1967. The failure to translate successful results from preclinical to clinical studies can be explained by the use of preclinical models which do not reflect what happens in the disease since these induce a rapid and extensive degeneration; for example, MPTP induces a severe Parkinsonism in only 3 days in humans contrasting with the slow degeneration and progression of PD. This study presents a new anatomy and develops preclinical model based on aminochrome which induces a slow and progressive dysfunction of dopaminergic neurons. The unilateral injection of aminochrome into rat striatum resulted in (1) contralateral rotation when the animals are stimulated with apomorphine; (2) absence of significant loss of tyrosine hydroxylase-positive neuronal elements both in substantia nigra and striatum; (3) cell shrinkage; (4) significant reduction of dopamine release; (5) significant increase in GABA release; (6) significant decrease in the number of monoaminergic presynaptic vesicles; (7) significant increase of dopamine concentration inside of monoaminergic vesicles; (8) significant increase of damaged mitochondria; (9) significant decrease of ATP level in the striatum (10) significant decrease in basal and maximal mitochondrial respiration. These results suggest that aminochrome induces dysfunction of dopaminergic neurons where the contralateral behavior can be explained by aminochrome-induced ATP decrease required both for anterograde transport of synaptic vesicles and dopamine release. Aminochrome could be implemented as a new model neurotoxin to study Parkinson's disease.

  10. Alterations in mitochondrial dynamics induced by tebufenpyrad and pyridaben in a dopaminergic neuronal cell culture model

    PubMed Central

    Charli, Adhithiya; Jin, Huajun; Anantharam, Vellareddy; Kanthasamy, Arthi; Kanthasamy, Anumantha G.

    2015-01-01

    Tebufenpyrad and pyridaben are two agro-chemically important acaricides that function like the known mitochondrial toxicant rotenone. Although these two compounds have been commonly used to kill populations of mites and ticks in commercial greenhouses, their neurotoxic profiles remain largely unknown. Therefore, we investigated the effects of these two pesticides on mitochondrial structure and function in an in vitro cell culture model using the Seahorse bioanalyzer and confocal fluorescence imaging. The effects were compared with rotenone. Exposing rat dopaminergic neuronal cells (N27 cells) to tebufenpyrad and pyridaben for 3 h induced dose-dependent cell death with an EC50 of 3.98 μM and 3.77 μM, respectively. Also, tebufenpyrad and pyridaben (3 μM) exposure induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and m-aconitase damage, suggesting that the pesticide toxicity is associated with oxidative damage. Morphometric image analysis with the MitoTracker red fluorescent probe indicated that tebufenpyrad and pyridaben, as well as rotenone, caused abnormalities in mitochondrial morphology, including reduced mitochondrial length and circularity. Functional bioenergetic experiments using the Seahorse XF96 analyzer revealed that tebufenpyrad and pyridaben very rapidly suppressed the basal mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate similar to that of rotenone. Further analysis of bioenergetic curves also revealed dose-dependent decreases in ATP-linked respiration and respiratory capacity. The luminescence-based ATP measurement further confirmed that pesticide-induced mitochondrial inhibition of respiration is accompanied by the loss of cellular ATP. Collectively, our results suggest that exposure to the pesticides tebufenpyrad and pyridaben induces neurotoxicity by rapidly initiating mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative damage in dopaminergic neuronal cells. Our findings also reveal that monitoring the kinetics of mitochondrial respiration with Seahorse could be used

  11. Ubiquitin-immunoreactive structures in the midbrain of methamphetamine abusers.

    PubMed

    Quan, Li; Ishikawa, Takaki; Michiue, Tomomi; Li, Dong-Ri; Zhao, Dong; Oritani, Shigeki; Zhu, Bao-Li; Maeda, Hitoshi

    2005-05-01

    Ubiquitin (Ub) is involved in neurodegeneration and various stress responses in the brain. The present study investigated the Ub-immunoreactive structures in the midbrain of methamphetamine (MA) abusers as a marker of drug-induced neurodegeneration. Medico-legal autopsy cases were examined: fatal MA intoxication (n=14), other fatalities of MA abusers (n=23) including those due to injuries, asphyxiation, drowning, fire and natural diseases, and control groups (n=260). In the motor nervous systems, MA abusers showed a mild increase in the diffuse-type nuclear Ub-positivity in the pigmented neurons of the substantia nigra, depending on the blood MA level and irrespectively of the immediate causes of death. The intranuclear inclusion-type Ub-positivity of the nigral neurons and the granular 'dot-like' Ub-immunoreactivity area in the crus cerebri (cortico-spinal tracts) were usually low in MA abusers, and any increases were related to the immediate causes of death and the age of subjects. Acute MA fatality showed a higher neuronal Ub-positivity in the midbrain periaqueductal gray matter (PGM), which is involved in processing pain, fear and anxiety, and regulation of respiration and circulation. These findings suggest dysfunction of the nigral dopaminergic neurons and PGM neurons in the midbrain in MA abuse, which may account for the clinical symptoms.

  12. Therapeutic immunization protects dopaminergic neurons in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease

    PubMed Central

    Benner, Eric J.; Mosley, R. Lee; Destache, Chris J.; Lewis, Travis B.; Jackson-Lewis, Vernice; Gorantla, Santhi; Nemachek, Craig; Green, Steven R.; Przedborski, Serge; Gendelman, Howard E.

    2004-01-01

    Degeneration of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway, the hallmark of Parkinson's disease, can be recapitulated in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-intoxicated mice. Herein, we demonstrate that adoptive transfer of copolymer-1 immune cells to MPTP recipient mice leads to T cell accumulation within the substantia nigra pars compacta, suppression of microglial activation, and increased local expression of astrocyte-associated glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor. This immunization strategy resulted in significant protection of nigrostriatal neurons against MPTP-induced neurodegeneration that was abrogated by depletion of donor T cells. Such vaccine treatment strategies may provide benefit for Parkinson's disease. PMID:15197276

  13. Progranulin gene delivery protects dopaminergic neurons in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Van Kampen, Jackalina M; Baranowski, David; Kay, Denis G

    2014-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by tremor, rigidity and akinesia/bradykinesia resulting from the progressive loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. To date, only symptomatic treatment is available for PD patients, with no effective means of slowing or stopping the progression of the disease. Progranulin (PGRN) is a 593 amino acid multifunction protein that is widely distributed throughout the CNS, localized primarily in neurons and microglia. PGRN has been demonstrated to be a potent regulator of neuroinflammation and also acts as an autocrine neurotrophic factor, important for long-term neuronal survival. Thus, enhancing PGRN expression may strengthen the cells resistance to disease. In the present study, we have used the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) model of PD to investigate the possible use of PGRN gene delivery as a therapy for the prevention or treatment of PD. Viral vector delivery of the PGRN gene was an effective means of elevating PGRN expression in nigrostriatal neurons. When PGRN expression was elevated in the SNC, nigrostriatal neurons were protected from MPTP toxicity in mice, along with a preservation of striatal dopamine content and turnover. Further, protection of nigrostriatal neurons by PGRN gene therapy was accompanied by reductions in markers of MPTP-induced inflammation and apoptosis as well as a complete preservation of locomotor function. We conclude that PGRN gene therapy may have beneficial effects in the treatment of PD.

  14. Live imaging of mitochondrial dynamics in CNS dopaminergic neurons in vivo demonstrates early reversal of mitochondrial transport following MPP(+) exposure.

    PubMed

    Dukes, April A; Bai, Qing; Van Laar, Victor S; Zhou, Yangzhong; Ilin, Vladimir; David, Christopher N; Agim, Zeynep S; Bonkowsky, Joshua L; Cannon, Jason R; Watkins, Simon C; Croix, Claudette M St; Burton, Edward A; Berman, Sarah B

    2016-11-01

    Extensive convergent evidence collectively suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction is central to the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). Recently, changes in the dynamic properties of mitochondria have been increasingly implicated as a key proximate mechanism underlying neurodegeneration. However, studies have been limited by the lack of a model in which mitochondria can be imaged directly and dynamically in dopaminergic neurons of the intact vertebrate CNS. We generated transgenic zebrafish in which mitochondria of dopaminergic neurons are labeled with a fluorescent reporter, and optimized methods allowing direct intravital imaging of CNS dopaminergic axons and measurement of mitochondrial transport in vivo. The proportion of mitochondria undergoing axonal transport in dopaminergic neurons decreased overall during development between 2days post-fertilization (dpf) and 5dpf, at which point the major period of growth and synaptogenesis of the relevant axonal projections is complete. Exposure to 0.5-1.0mM MPP(+) between 4 and 5dpf did not compromise zebrafish viability or cause detectable changes in the number or morphology of dopaminergic neurons, motor function or monoaminergic neurochemistry. However, 0.5mM MPP(+) caused a 300% increase in retrograde mitochondrial transport and a 30% decrease in anterograde transport. In contrast, exposure to higher concentrations of MPP(+) caused an overall reduction in mitochondrial transport. This is the first time mitochondrial transport has been observed directly in CNS dopaminergic neurons of a living vertebrate and quantified in a PD model in vivo. Our findings are compatible with a model in which damage at presynaptic dopaminergic terminals causes an early compensatory increase in retrograde transport of compromised mitochondria for degradation in the cell body. These data are important because manipulation of early pathogenic mechanisms might be a valid therapeutic approach to PD. The novel transgenic lines and

  15. Metabolic regulation of lateral hypothalamic glucose-inhibited orexin neurons may influence midbrain reward neurocircuitry.

    PubMed

    Sheng, Zhenyu; Santiago, Ammy M; Thomas, Mark P; Routh, Vanessa H

    2014-09-01

    Lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) orexin neurons modulate reward-based feeding by activating ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons. We hypothesize that signals of peripheral energy status influence reward-based feeding by modulating the glucose sensitivity of LHA orexin glucose-inhibited (GI) neurons. This hypothesis was tested using electrophysiological recordings of LHA orexin-GI neurons in brain slices from 4 to 6week old male mice whose orexin neurons express green fluorescent protein (GFP) or putative VTA-DA neurons from C57Bl/6 mice. Low glucose directly activated ~60% of LHA orexin-GFP neurons in both whole cell and cell attached recordings. Leptin indirectly reduced and ghrelin directly enhanced the activation of LHA orexin-GI neurons by glucose decreases from 2.5 to 0.1mM by 53±12% (n=16, P<0.001) and 41±24% (n=8, P<0.05), respectively. GABA or neurotensin receptor blockade prevented leptin's effect on glucose sensitivity. Fasting increased activation of LHA orexin-GI neurons by decreased glucose, as would be predicted by these hormonal effects. We also evaluated putative VTA-DA neurons in a novel horizontal slice preparation containing the LHA and VTA. Decreased glucose increased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory post-synaptic currents (sEPSCs; 125 ± 40%, n=9, P<0.05) and action potentials (n=9; P<0.05) in 45% (9/20) of VTA DA neurons. sEPSCs were completely blocked by AMPA and NMDA glutamate receptor antagonists (CNQX 20 μM, n=4; APV 20μM, n=4; respectively), demonstrating that these sEPSCs were mediated by glutamatergic transmission onto VTA DA neurons. Orexin-1 but not 2 receptor antagonism with SB334867 (10μM; n=9) and TCS-OX2-29 (2μM; n=5), respectively, blocks the effects of decreased glucose on VTA DA neurons. Thus, decreased glucose increases orexin-dependent excitatory glutamate neurotransmission onto VTA DA neurons. These data suggest that the glucose sensitivity of LHA orexin-GI neurons links metabolic state and reward

  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. Mesenchymal Stem Cells as a Source of Dopaminergic Neurons: A Potential Cell Based Therapy for Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Venkatesh, Katari; Sen, Dwaipayan

    2016-11-14

    Cell repair/replacing strategies for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease depend on well-characterized dopaminergic neuronal candidates that are healthy and show promising effect in the rejuvenation of degenerated area of the brain. Therefore, it is imperative to develop innovative therapeutic strategies that replace damaged neurons with new/functional dopaminergic neurons. Although several research groups have reported the generation of neural precursors/neurons from human/mouse embryonic stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells, the latter is considered to be an attractive therapeutic candidate because of its high capacity for self-renewable, no adverse effect to allogeneic versus autologous transplants, high ethical acceptance and no teratoma formation. Therefore, mesenchymal stem cells can be considered as an ideal source for replacing lost cells in degenerative diseases like Parkinson's. Hence, the use of these cells in the differentiation of dopaminergic neurons becomes significant and thrives as a therapeutic approach to treat Parkinson's disease. Here we highlight the basic biology of mesenchymal stem cells, their differentiation potential into dopaminergic neurons and potential use in the clinics.

  18. Opposing Dopaminergic and GABAergic Neurons Control the Duration and Persistence of Copulation in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Crickmore, Michael A.; Vosshall, Leslie B.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Behavioral persistence is a major factor in determiningwhen and under which circumstances animals will terminate their current activity and transition into more profitable, appropriate, or urgent behavior. We show that, for the first 5 min of copulation in Drosophila, stressful stimuli do not interrupt mating, whereas 10 min later, even minor perturbations are sufficient to terminate copulation. This decline in persistence occurs as the probability of successful mating increases and is promoted by approximately eight sexually dimorphic, GABAergic interneurons of the male abdominal ganglion. When these interneurons were silenced, persistence increased and males copulated far longer than required for successful mating. When these interneurons were stimulated, persistence decreased and copulations were shortened. In contrast, dopaminergic neurons of the ventral nerve cord promote copulation persistence and extend copulation duration. Thus, copulation duration in Drosophila is a product of gradually declining persistence controlled by opposing neuronal populations using conserved neurotransmission systems. PMID:24209625

  19. Gastrodin Protects Apoptotic Dopaminergic Neurons in a Toxin-Induced Parkinson's Disease Model

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Hemant; Kim, In-Su; More, Sandeep Vasant; Kim, Byung-Wook; Bahk, Young-Yil; Choi, Dong-Kug

    2013-01-01

    Gastrodia elata (GE) Blume is one of the most important traditional plants in Oriental countries and has been used for centuries to improve various conditions. The phenolic glucoside gastrodin is an active constituent of GE. The aim of this study was to investigate the neuroprotective role of gastrodin in 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+)/1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine- (MPTP) induced human dopaminergic SH-SY5Y cells and mouse model of Parkinson's disease (PD), respectively. Gastrodin significantly and dose dependently protected dopaminergic neurons against neurotoxicity through regulating free radicals, Bax/Bcl-2 mRNA, caspase-3, and cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) in SH-SY5Y cells stressed with MPP+. Gastrodin also showed neuroprotective effects in the subchronic MPTP mouse PD model by ameliorating bradykinesia and motor impairment in the pole and rotarod tests, respectively. Consistent with this finding, gastrodin prevented dopamine depletion and reduced reactive astrogliosis caused by MPTP as assessed by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting in the substantiae nigrae and striatata of mice. Moreover, gastrodin was also effective in preventing neuronal apoptosis by attenuating antioxidant and antiapoptotic activities in these brain areas. These results strongly suggest that gastrodin has protective effects in experimental PD models and that it may be developed as a clinical candidate to ameliorate PD symptoms. PMID:23533492

  20. Withania somnifera alleviates parkinsonian phenotypes by inhibiting apoptotic pathways in dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Prakash, Jay; Chouhan, Shikha; Yadav, Satyndra Kumar; Westfall, Susan; Rai, Sachchida Nand; Singh, Surya Pratap

    2014-12-01

    Maneb (MB) and paraquat (PQ) are environmental toxins that have been experimentally used to induce selective damage of dopaminergic neurons leading to the development of Parkinson's disease (PD). Although the mechanism of this selective neuronal toxicity in not fully understood, oxidative stress has been linked to the pathogenesis of PD. The present study investigates the mechanisms of neuroprotection elicited by Withania somnifera (Ws), a herb traditionally recognized by the Indian system of medicine, Ayurveda. An ethanolic root extract of Ws was co-treated with the MB-PQ induced mouse model of PD and was shown to significantly rescue canonical indicators of PD including compromised locomotor activity, reduced dopamine in the substantia nigra and various aspects of oxidative damage. In particular, Ws reduced the expression of iNOS, a measure of oxidative stress. Ws also significantly improved the MB + PQ mediated induction of a pro-apoptotic state by reducing Bax and inducing Bcl-2 protein expression, respectively. Finally, Ws reduced expression of the pro-inflammatory marker of astrocyte activation, GFAP. Altogether, the present study suggests that Ws treatment provides nigrostriatal dopaminergic neuroprotection against MB-PQ induced Parkinsonism by the modulation of oxidative stress and apoptotic machinery possibly accounting for the behavioural effects.

  1. [18F]fluorodopa PET shows striatal dopaminergic dysfunction in juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    PubMed Central

    Ruottinen, H M; Rinne, J O; Haaparanta, M; Solin, O; Bergman, J; Oikonen, V J; Järvelä, I; Santavuori, P

    1997-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether nigrostriatal dopaminergic hypofunction is related to the extrapyramidal symptoms in patients with juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL). METHODS: Nine patients with JNCL and seven healthy controls were studied using [18F]fluorodopa PET. RESULTS: In the patients with JNCL [18F]fluorodopa uptake (K[i][occ]) in the putamen was 60% of the control mean and the corresponding figure in the caudate nucleus was 79%. There was a weak correlation between putamen K(i)(occ) values and extrapyramidal symptoms of the patients evaluated by the motor part of the unified Parkinson's disease rating scale (r = -0.57, P < 0.05). The overall severity of the disease also displayed a negative correlation with the K(i)(occ) values in the putamen (r = -0.71, P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: In patients with JNCL there was reduced striatal [18F]fluorodopa uptake, which had a modest correlation with extrapyramidal symptoms. Dysfunction of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons is therefore not the only cause of the patients' extrapyramidal symptoms, but degenerative changes in other brain areas are also contributory. Images PMID:9219750

  2. Dopaminergic regulation of neuronal excitability through modulation of Ih in layer V entorhinal cortex.

    PubMed

    Rosenkranz, J Amiel; Johnston, Daniel

    2006-03-22

    The entorhinal cortex (EC) is a significant component of the systems that underlie certain forms of memory formation and recall. Evidence has been emerging that the dopaminergic system in the EC facilitates these and other functions of the EC. The effects of dopamine (DA) on membrane properties and excitability of EC neurons, however, are not known. We used in vitro whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from layer V pyramidal neuronal somata and dendrites of the adult rat lateral EC to investigate the effects of DA on the excitability of these neurons. We found that brief application of DA caused a reduction in the excitability of layer V EC pyramidal neurons. This effect was attributable to voltage-dependent modification of membrane properties that can best be explained by an increase in a hyperpolarization-activated conductance. Furthermore, the effects of DA were blocked by pharmacological blockade of h-channels, but not by any of a number of other ion channels. These actions were produced by a D1 receptor-mediated increase of cAMP but were independent of protein kinase A. A portion of the actions of DA can be attributed to effects in the apical dendrites. The data suggest that DA can directly influence the membrane properties of layer V EC pyramidal neurons by modulation of h-channels. These actions may underlie some of the effects of DA on memory formation.

  3. FoxO1 in dopaminergic neurons regulates energy homeostasis and targets tyrosine hydroxylase

    PubMed Central

    Doan, Khanh V.; Kinyua, Ann W.; Yang, Dong Joo; Ko, Chang Mann; Moh, Sang Hyun; Shong, Ko Eun; Kim, Hail; Park, Sang-Kyu; Kim, Dong-Hoon; Kim, Inki; Paik, Ji-Hye; DePinho, Ronald A.; Yoon, Seul Gi; Kim, Il Yong; Seong, Je Kyung; Choi, Yun-Hee; Kim, Ki Woo

    2016-01-01

    Dopaminergic (DA) neurons are involved in the integration of neuronal and hormonal signals to regulate food consumption and energy balance. Forkhead transcriptional factor O1 (FoxO1) in the hypothalamus plays a crucial role in mediation of leptin and insulin function. However, the homoeostatic role of FoxO1 in DA system has not been investigated. Here we report that FoxO1 is highly expressed in DA neurons and mice lacking FoxO1 specifically in the DA neurons (FoxO1 KODAT) show markedly increased energy expenditure and interscapular brown adipose tissue (iBAT) thermogenesis accompanied by reduced fat mass and improved glucose/insulin homoeostasis. Moreover, FoxO1 KODAT mice exhibit an increased sucrose preference in concomitance with higher dopamine and norepinephrine levels. Finally, we found that FoxO1 directly targets and negatively regulates tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expression, the rate-limiting enzyme of the catecholamine synthesis, delineating a mechanism for the KO phenotypes. Collectively, these results suggest that FoxO1 in DA neurons is an important transcriptional factor that directs the coordinated control of energy balance, thermogenesis and glucose homoeostasis. PMID:27681312

  4. Neurotoxicity and behavioral deficits associated with Septin 5 accumulation in dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Son, Jin H; Kawamata, Hibiki; Yoo, Myung S; Kim, Dae J; Lee, Young K; Kim, Sooyoul; Dawson, Ted M; Zhang, Hui; Sulzer, David; Yang, Lichuan; Beal, M Flint; Degiorgio, Lorraine A; Chun, Hong S; Baker, Harriet; Peng, Chu

    2005-08-01

    Septin 5, a parkin substrate, is a vesicle- and membrane-associated protein that plays a significant role in inhibiting exocytosis. The regulatory function of Septin 5 in dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons of substantia nigra (SN), maintained at relatively low levels, has not yet been delineated. As loss of function mutations of parkin are the principal cause of a familial Parkinson's disease, a prevailing hypothesis is that the loss of parkin activity results in accumulation of Septin 5 which confers neuron-specific toxicity in SN-DAergic neurons. In vitro and in vivo models were used to support this hypothesis. In our well-characterized DAergic SN4741 cell model, acute accumulation of elevated levels of Septin 5, but not synphilin-1 (another parkin substrate), resulted in cytotoxic cell death that was markedly reduced by parkin co-transfection. A transgenic mouse model expressing a dominant negative parkin mutant accumulated moderate levels of Septin 5 in SN-DAergic neurons. These mice acquired a progressive l-DOPA responsive motor dysfunction that developed despite a 25% higher than normal level of striatal dopamine (DA) and no apparent loss of DAergic neurons. The phenotype of this animal, increased striatal dopamine and reduced motor function, was similar to that observed in parkin knockout animals, suggesting a common DAergic alteration. These data suggest that a threshold level of Septin 5 accumulation is required for DAergic cell loss and that l-DOPA-responsive motor deficits can occur even in the presence of elevated DA.

  5. Activation of mesolimbic dopaminergic neurons following central administration of histamine is mediated by H1 receptors.

    PubMed

    Fleckenstein, A E; Lookingland, K J; Moore, K E

    1993-01-01

    The effect of intracerebroventricular administration of histamine on the activity of mesolimbic and nigrostriatal dopaminergic (DA) neurons was determined in male rats. The activity of these neurons was estimated by measuring: (1) the accumulation of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) after administration of a decarboxylase inhibitor, and (2) the concentration of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) in the nucleus accumbens and striatum, which contain the terminals of these neurons. Central administration of histamine increased both DOPA accumulation and DOPAC concentrations in the nucleus accumbens, but was without effect in the striatum. The increase in DOPAC concentrations in the nucleus accumbens occurred within 10 min and was sustained for at least 120 min. The H1 antagonist mepyramine blocked whereas the H2 antagonist zolantidine did not affect histamine-induced increases in DOPAC concentrations in the nucleus accumbens. Neither mepyramine nor zolantidine affected basal DOPAC concentrations in the nucleus accumbens. These results indicate that central administration of histamine stimulates mesolimbic DA neurons through an action at the H1 receptor, but has no effect upon the activity of nigrostriatal DA neurons.

  6. Isoforms of the Erythropoietin receptor in dopaminergic neurons of the Substantia Nigra.

    PubMed

    Marcuzzi, Federica; Zucchelli, Silvia; Bertuzzi, Maria; Santoro, Claudio; Tell, Gianluca; Carninci, Piero; Gustincich, Stefano

    2016-11-01

    Erythropoietin receptor (EpoR) regulates erythrocytes differentiation in blood. In the brain, EpoR has been shown to protect several neuronal cell types from cell death, including the A9 dopaminergic neurons (DA) of the Substantia Nigra (SN). These cells form the nigrostriatal pathway and are devoted to the control of postural reflexes and voluntary movements. Selective degeneration of A9 DA neurons leads to Parkinson's disease. By the use of nanoCAGE, a technology that allows the identification of Transcription Start Sites (TSSs) at a genome-wide level, we have described the promoter-level expression atlas of mouse A9 DA neurons purified with Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM). Here, we identify mRNA variants of the Erythropoietin Receptor (DA-EpoR) transcribed from alternative TSSs. Experimental validation and full-length cDNA cloning is integrated with gene expression analysis in the FANTOM5 database. In DA neurons, the EpoR gene encodes for a N-terminal truncated receptor. Based on STAT5 phosphorylation assays, we show that the new variant of N-terminally truncated EpoR acts as decoy when co-expressed with the full-length form. A similar isoform is also found in human. This work highlights new complexities in the regulation of Erythropoietin (EPO) signaling in the brain.

  7. Molecular Diversity of Midbrain Development in Mouse, Human, and Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    La Manno, Gioele; Gyllborg, Daniel; Codeluppi, Simone; Nishimura, Kaneyasu; Salto, Carmen; Zeisel, Amit; Borm, Lars E; Stott, Simon R W; Toledo, Enrique M; Villaescusa, J Carlos; Lönnerberg, Peter; Ryge, Jesper; Barker, Roger A; Arenas, Ernest; Linnarsson, Sten

    2016-10-06

    Understanding human embryonic ventral midbrain is of major interest for Parkinson's disease. However, the cell types, their gene expression dynamics, and their relationship to commonly used rodent models remain to be defined. We performed single-cell RNA sequencing to examine ventral midbrain development in human and mouse. We found 25 molecularly defined human cell types, including five subtypes of radial glia-like cells and four progenitors. In the mouse, two mature fetal dopaminergic neuron subtypes diversified into five adult classes during postnatal development. Cell types and gene expression were generally conserved across species, but with clear differences in cell proliferation, developmental timing, and dopaminergic neuron development. Additionally, we developed a method to quantitatively assess the fidelity of dopaminergic neurons derived from human pluripotent stem cells, at a single-cell level. Thus, our study provides insight into the molecular programs controlling human midbrain development and provides a foundation for the development of cell replacement therapies.

  8. Dopaminergic Regulation of Mate Competition Aggression and Aromatase-Fos Colocalization in Vasotocin Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Kabelik, David; Kelly, Aubrey M.; Goodson, James L.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Recent experiments demonstrate that aggressive competition for potential mates involves different neural mechanisms than does territorial, resident-intruder aggression. However, despite the obvious importance of mate competition aggression, we know little about its regulation. Immediate early gene experiments show that in contrast to territorial aggression, mate competition in finches is accompanied by the activation of neural populations associated with affiliation and motivation, including vasotocin (VT) neurons in the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTm) and midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons that project to the BSTm. Although VT is known to facilitate mate competition aggression, the role of DA has not previously been examined. We now show that in male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), mate competition aggression is inhibited by the D2 agonist quinpirole, though not the D1 agonist SKF-38393 or the D4 agonist PD168077. The D3 agonist 7-OH-DPAT also inhibited aggression, but only following high dose treatment that may affect aggression via non-specific binding to D2 receptors. Central VT infusion failed to restore D2 agonist-inhibited aggression in a subsequent experiment, demonstrating that D2 does not suppress aggression by inhibiting VT release from BSTm neurons. In a final experiment, we detected D2 agonist-induced increases in immunofluorescent colocalization of the product of the immediate early gene c-fos and the steroid-converting enzyme aromatase (ARO) within VT neurons of the BSTm. Thus, although VT and DA appear to influence mate competition aggression independently, BSTm VT neurons are clearly influenced by the activation of D2 receptors, which may modify future behaviors. PMID:19540858

  9. 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.

  10. Contribution of synchronized GABAergic neurons to dopaminergic neuron firing and bursting.

    PubMed

    Morozova, Ekaterina O; Myroshnychenko, Maxym; Zakharov, Denis; di Volo, Matteo; Gutkin, Boris; Lapish, Christopher C; Kuznetsov, Alexey

    2016-10-01

    In the ventral tegmental area (VTA), interactions between dopamine (DA) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons are critical for regulating DA neuron activity and thus DA efflux. To provide a mechanistic explanation of how GABA neurons influence DA neuron firing, we developed a circuit model of the VTA. The model is based on feed-forward inhibition and recreates canonical features of the VTA neurons. Simulations revealed that γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor (GABAR) stimulation can differentially influence the firing pattern of the DA neuron, depending on the level of synchronization among GABA neurons. Asynchronous activity of GABA neurons provides a constant level of inhibition to the DA neuron and, when removed, produces a classical disinhibition burst. In contrast, when GABA neurons are synchronized by common synaptic input, their influence evokes additional spikes in the DA neuron, resulting in increased measures of firing and bursting. Distinct from previous mechanisms, the increases were not based on lowered firing rate of the GABA neurons or weaker hyperpolarization by the GABAR synaptic current. This phenomenon was induced by GABA-mediated hyperpolarization of the DA neuron that leads to decreases in intracellular calcium (Ca(2+)) concentration, thus reducing the Ca(2+)-dependent potassium (K(+)) current. In this way, the GABA-mediated hyperpolarization replaces Ca(2+)-dependent K(+) current; however, this inhibition is pulsatile, which allows the DA neuron to fire during the rhythmic pauses in inhibition. Our results emphasize the importance of inhibition in the VTA, which has been discussed in many studies, and suggest a novel mechanism whereby computations can occur locally.

  11. Converging roles of ion channels, calcium, metabolic stress, and activity pattern of Substantia nigra dopaminergic neurons in health and Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Duda, Johanna; Pötschke, Christina; Liss, Birgit

    2016-10-01

    Dopamine-releasing neurons within the Substantia nigra (SN DA) are particularly vulnerable to degeneration compared to other dopaminergic neurons. The age-dependent, progressive loss of these neurons is a pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD), as the resulting loss of striatal dopamine causes its major movement-related symptoms. SN DA neurons release dopamine from their axonal terminals within the dorsal striatum, and also from their cell bodies and dendrites within the midbrain in a calcium- and activity-dependent manner. Their intrinsically generated and metabolically challenging activity is created and modulated by the orchestrated function of different ion channels and dopamine D2-autoreceptors. Here, we review increasing evidence that the mechanisms that control activity patterns and calcium homeostasis of SN DA neurons are not only crucial for their dopamine release within a physiological range but also modulate their mitochondrial and lysosomal activity, their metabolic stress levels, and their vulnerability to degeneration in PD. Indeed, impaired calcium homeostasis, lysosomal and mitochondrial dysfunction, and metabolic stress in SN DA neurons represent central converging trigger factors for idiopathic and familial PD. We summarize double-edged roles of ion channels, activity patterns, calcium homeostasis, and related feedback/feed-forward signaling mechanisms in SN DA neurons for maintaining and modulating their physiological function, but also for contributing to their vulnerability in PD-paradigms. We focus on the emerging roles of maintained neuronal activity and calcium homeostasis within a physiological bandwidth, and its modulation by PD-triggers, as well as on bidirectional functions of voltage-gated L-type calcium channels and metabolically gated ATP-sensitive potassium (K-ATP) channels, and their probable interplay in health and PD. We propose that SN DA neurons possess several feedback and feed-forward mechanisms to protect and adapt

  12. A novel thiol antioxidant that crosses the blood brain barrier protects dopaminergic neurons in experimental models of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Bahat-Stroomza, Merav; Gilgun-Sherki, Yossi; Offen, Daniel; Panet, Hana; Saada, Ann; Krool-Galron, Nili; Barzilai, Aari; Atlas, Daphne; Melamed, Eldad

    2005-02-01

    It is believed that oxidative stress (OS) plays an important role in the loss of dopaminergic nigrostriatal neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD) and that treatment with antioxidants might be neuroprotective. However, most currently available antioxidants cannot readily penetrate the blood brain barrier after systemic administration. We now report that AD4, the novel low molecular weight thiol antioxidant and the N-acytel cysteine (NAC) related compound, is capable of penetrating the brain and protects neurons in general and especially dopaminergic cells against various OS-generating neurotoxins in tissue cultures. Moreover, we found that treatment with AD4 markedly decreased the damage of dopaminergic neurons in three experimental models of PD. AD4 suppressed amphetamine-induced rotational behaviour in rats with unilateral 6-OHDA-induced nigral lesion. It attenuated the reduction in striatal dopamine levels in mice treated with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6,-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). It also reduced the dopaminergic neuronal loss following chronic intrajugular administration of rotenone in rats. Our findings suggest that AD4 is a novel potential new neuroprotective drug that might be effective at slowing down nigral neuronal degeneration and illness progression in patients with PD.

  13. Transgenic expression and activation of PGC-1α protect dopaminergic neurons in the MPTP mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Mudò, Giuseppa; Mäkelä, Johanna; Di Liberto, Valentina; Tselykh, Timofey V; Olivieri, Melania; Piepponen, Petteri; Eriksson, Ove; Mälkiä, Annika; Bonomo, Alessandra; Kairisalo, Minna; Aguirre, Jose A; Korhonen, Laura; Belluardo, Natale; Lindholm, Dan

    2012-04-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress occur in Parkinson's disease (PD), but little is known about the molecular mechanisms controlling these events. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) is a transcriptional coactivator that is a master regulator of oxidative stress and mitochondrial metabolism. We show here that transgenic mice overexpressing PGC-1α in dopaminergic neurons are resistant against cell degeneration induced by the neurotoxin MPTP. The increase in neuronal viability was accompanied by elevated levels of mitochondrial antioxidants SOD2 and Trx2 in the substantia nigra of transgenic mice. PGC-1α overexpression also protected against MPTP-induced striatal loss of dopamine, and mitochondria from PGC-1α transgenic mice showed an increased respiratory control ratio compared with wild-type animals. To modulate PGC-1α, we employed the small molecular compound, resveratrol (RSV) that protected dopaminergic neurons against the MPTP-induced cell degeneration almost to the same extent as after PGC-1α overexpression. As studied in vitro, RSV activated PGC-1α in dopaminergic SN4741 cells via the deacetylase SIRT1, and enhanced PGC-1α gene transcription with increases in SOD2 and Trx2. Taken together, the results reveal an important function of PGC-1α in dopaminergic neurons to combat oxidative stress and increase neuronal viability. RSV and other compounds acting via SIRT1/PGC-1α may prove useful as neuroprotective agents in PD and possibly in other neurological disorders.

  14. 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

  15. Temporal selectivity in midbrain electrosensory neurons identified by modal variation in active sensing.

    PubMed

    Pluta, Scott R; Kawasaki, Masashi

    2010-07-01

    Mormyrid weakly electric fish actively sense their surroundings by continuously emitting discrete pulses of electricity separated by varying intervals of silence. The temporal pattern of this pulsing behavior is related to context. While resting in the absence of an overt stimulus, baseline interpulse intervals (IPIs) mostly range 200-450 ms, and sequential variation is relatively high. Spontaneously, or following the presentation of a novel stimulus, IPIs transiently shorten during the performance of an electromotor "burst" display. We made intracellular whole cell recordings in vivo from neurons in the lateral nucleus of the torus semicircularis while the fish's dynamic pulsing behavior modified the temporal pattern of stimulation. Stimulation was designed to simulate the spatial patterns of AM that occur during the electrolocation of a resistive object. We discovered that toral neurons selectively respond to stimulation during a particular mode of electromotor activity. Two types of temporally selective neurons were discovered: baseline-selective neurons that displayed significantly higher postsynaptic potential (PSP) amplitude and spike count per electric organ discharge (EOD) during baseline electromotor activity and burst-selective neurons that displayed significantly higher PSP amplitude and spike count per EOD during electromotor burst displays. Interval-dependent changes in the strength of excitation and inhibition contributed to their selectivity.

  16. 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

  17. Melatonin inhibits manganese-induced motor dysfunction and neuronal loss in mice: involvement of oxidative stress and dopaminergic neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Deng, Yu; Jiao, Congcong; Mi, Chao; Xu, Bin; Li, Yuehui; Wang, Fei; Liu, Wei; Xu, Zhaofa

    2015-02-01

    Excessive manganese (Mn) induces oxidative stress and dopaminergic neurodegeneration. However, the relationship between them during Mn neurotoxicity has not been clarified. The purpose of this study was to investigate the probable role of melatonin (MLT) against Mn-induced motor dysfunction and neuronal loss as a result of antagonizing oxidative stress and dopaminergic neurodegeneration. Mice were randomly divided into five groups as follows: control, MnCl2, low MLT + MnCl2, median MLT + MnCl2, and high MLT + MnCl2. Administration of MnCl2 (50 mg/kg) for 2 weeks significantly induced hypokinesis, dopaminergic neurons degeneration and loss, neuronal ultrastructural damage, and apoptosis in the substantia nigra and the striatum. These conditions were caused in part by the overproduction of reactive oxygen species, malondialdehyde accumulation, and dysfunction of the nonenzymatic (GSH) and enzymatic (GSH-Px, superoxide dismutase, quinone oxidoreductase 1, glutathione S-transferase, and glutathione reductase) antioxidative defense systems. Mn-induced neuron degeneration, astrocytes, and microglia activation contribute to the changes of oxidative stress markers. Dopamine (DA) depletion and downregulation of DA transporter and receptors were also found after Mn administration, this might also trigger motor dysfunction and neurons loss. Pretreatment with MLT prevented Mn-induced oxidative stress and dopaminergic neurodegeneration and inhibited the interaction between them. As a result, pretreatment with MLT significantly alleviated Mn-induced motor dysfunction and neuronal loss. In conclusion, Mn treatment resulted in motor dysfunction and neuronal loss, possibly involving an interaction between oxidative stress and dopaminergic neurodegeneration in the substantia nigra and the striatum. Pretreatment with MLT attenuated Mn-induced neurotoxicity by means of its antioxidant properties and promotion of the DA system.

  18. Are striatal tyrosine hydroxylase interneurons dopaminergic?

    PubMed

    Xenias, Harry S; Ibáñez-Sandoval, Osvaldo; Koós, Tibor; Tepper, James M

    2015-04-22

    Striatal GABAergic interneurons that express the gene for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) have been identified previously by several methods. Although generally assumed to be dopaminergic, possibly serving as a compensatory source of dopamine (DA) in Parkinson's disease, this assumption has never been tested directly. In TH-Cre mice whose nigrostriatal pathway had been eliminated unilaterally with 6-hydroxydopamine, we injected a Cre-dependent virus coding for channelrhodopsin-2 and enhanced yellow fluorescent protein unilaterally into the unlesioned midbrain or bilaterally into the striatum. Fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in striatal slices revealed that both optical and electrical stimulation readily elicited DA release in control striata but not from contralateral striata when nigrostriatal neurons were transduced. In contrast, neither optical nor electrical stimulation could elicit striatal DA release in either the control or lesioned striata when the virus was injected directly into the striatum transducing only striatal TH interneurons. This demonstrates that striatal TH interneurons do not release DA. Fluorescence immunocytochemistry in enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-TH mice revealed colocalization of DA, l-amino acid decarboxylase, the DA transporter, and vesicular monoamine transporter-2 with EGFP in midbrain dopaminergic neurons but not in any of the striatal EGFP-TH interneurons. Optogenetic activation of striatal EGFP-TH interneurons produced strong GABAergic inhibition in all spiny neurons tested. These results indicate that striatal TH interneurons are not dopaminergic but rather are a type of GABAergic interneuron that expresses TH but none of the other enzymes or transporters necessary to operate as dopaminergic neurons and exert widespread GABAergic inhibition onto direct and indirect spiny neurons.

  19. Dopaminergic modulation of axon collaterals interconnecting spiny neurons of the rat striatum.

    PubMed

    Guzmán, Jaime N; Hernández, Adán; Galarraga, Elvira; Tapia, Dagoberto; Laville, Antonio; Vergara, Ramiro; Aceves, Jorge; Bargas, José

    2003-10-01

    Dopamine is a critical modulator of striatal function; its absence produces Parkinson's disease. Most cellular actions of dopamine are still unknown. This work describes the presynaptic actions of dopaminergic receptor agonists on GABAergic transmission between neostriatal projection neurons. Axon collaterals interconnect projection neurons, the main axons of which project to other basal ganglia nuclei. Most if not all of these projecting axons pass through the globus pallidus. Thus, we lesioned the intrinsic neurons of the globus pallidus and stimulated neostriatal efferent axons antidromically with a bipolar electrode located in this nucleus. This maneuver revealed a bicuculline-sensitive synaptic current while recording in spiny cells. D1 receptor agonists facilitated whereas D2 receptor agonists depressed this synaptic current. In contrast, a bicuculline-sensitive synaptic current evoked by field stimulation inside the neostriatum was not consistently modulated, in agreement with previous studies. The data are discussed in light of the most recent experimental and modeling results. The conclusion was that inhibition of spiny cells by axon collaterals of other spiny cells is quantitatively important; however, to be functionally important, this inhibition might be conditioned to the synchronized firing of spiny neurons. Finally, dopamine exerts a potentially important role regulating the extent of lateral inhibition.

  20. Synergy of AMPA and NMDA Receptor Currents in Dopaminergic Neurons: A Modeling Study

    PubMed Central

    Zakharov, Denis; Lapish, Christopher; Gutkin, Boris; Kuznetsov, Alexey

    2016-01-01

    Dopaminergic (DA) neurons display two modes of firing: low-frequency tonic and high-frequency bursts. The high frequency firing within the bursts is attributed to NMDA, but not AMPA receptor activation. In our models of the DA neuron, both biophysical and abstract, the NMDA receptor current can significantly increase their firing frequency, whereas the AMPA receptor current is not able to evoke high-frequency activity and usually suppresses firing. However, both currents are produced by glutamate receptors and, consequently, are often co-activated. Here we consider combined influence of AMPA and NMDA synaptic input in the models of the DA neuron. Different types of neuronal activity (resting state, low frequency, or high frequency firing) are observed depending on the conductance of the AMPAR and NMDAR currents. In two models, biophysical and reduced, we show that the firing frequency increases more effectively if both receptors are co-activated for certain parameter values. In particular, in the more quantitative biophysical model, the maximal frequency is 40% greater than that with NMDAR alone. The dynamical mechanism of such frequency growth is explained in the framework of phase space evolution using the reduced model. In short, both the AMPAR and NMDAR currents flatten the voltage nullcline, providing the frequency increase, whereas only NMDA prevents complete unfolding of the nullcline, providing robust firing. Thus, we confirm a major role of the NMDAR in generating high-frequency firing and conclude that AMPAR activation further significantly increases the frequency. PMID:27252643

  1. Neuron-derived IgG protects dopaminergic neurons from insult by 6-OHDA and activates microglia through the FcγR I and TLR4 pathways.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jie; Niu, Na; Wang, Mingyu; McNutt, Michael A; Zhang, Donghong; Zhang, Baogang; Lu, Shijun; Liu, Yuqing; Liu, Zhihui

    2013-08-01

    Oxidative and immune attacks from the environment or microglia have been implicated in the loss of dopaminergic neurons of Parkinson's disease. The role of IgG which is an important immunologic molecule in the process of Parkinson's disease has been unclear. Evidence suggests that IgG can be produced by neurons in addition to its traditionally recognized source B lymphocytes, but its function in neurons is poorly understood. In this study, extensive expression of neuron-derived IgG was demonstrated in dopaminergic neurons of human and rat mesencephalon. With an in vitro Parkinson's disease model, we found that neuron-derived IgG can improve the survival and reduce apoptosis of dopaminergic neurons induced by 6-hydroxydopamine toxicity, and also depress the release of NO from microglia triggered by 6-hydroxydopamine. Expression of TNF-α and IL-10 in microglia was elevated to protective levels by neuron-derived IgG at a physiologic level via the FcγR I and TLR4 pathways and microglial activation could be attenuated by IgG blocking. All these data suggested that neuron-derived IgG may exert a self-protective function by activating microglia properly, and IgG may be involved in maintaining immunity homeostasis in the central nervous system and serve as an active factor under pathological conditions such as Parkinson's disease.

  2. Otx2 Requires Lmx1b to Control the Development of Mesodiencephalic Dopaminergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Sherf, Orna; Nashelsky Zolotov, Limor; Liser, Keren; Tilleman, Hadas; Jovanovic, Vukasin M.; Zega, Ksenija; Jukic, Marin M.; Brodski, Claude

    2015-01-01

    Studying the development of mesodiencephalic dopaminergic (mdDA) neurons provides an important basis for better understanding dopamine-associated brain functions and disorders and is critical for establishing cell replacement therapy for Parkinson’s disease. The transcription factors Otx2 and Lmx1b play a key role in the development of mdDA neurons. However, little is known about the genes downstream of Otx2 and Lmx1b in the pathways controlling the formation of mdDA neurons in vivo. Here we report on our investigation of Lmx1b as downstream target of Otx2 in the formation of mdDA neurons. Mouse mutants expressing Otx2 under the control of the En1 promoter (En1+/Otx2) showed increased Otx2 expression in the mid-hindbrain region, resulting in upregulation of Lmx1b and expansion of mdDA neurons there. In contrast, Lmx1b-/- mice showed decreased expression of Otx2 and impairments in several aspects of mdDA neuronal formation. To study the functional interaction between Otx2 and Lmx1b, we generated compound mutants in which Otx2 expression was restored in mice lacking Lmx1b (En1+/Otx2;Lmx1b-/-). In these animals Otx2 was not sufficient to rescue any of the aberrations in the formation of mdDA neurons caused by the loss of Lmx1b, but rescued the loss of ocular motor neurons. Gene expression studies in Lmx1b-/- embryos indicated that in these mutants Wnt1, En1 and Fgf8 expression are induced but subsequently lost in the mdDA precursor domain and the mid-hindbrain organizer in a specific, spatio-temporal manner. In summary, we demonstrate that Otx2 critically depends on Lmx1b for the formation of mdDA neurons, but not for the generation of ocular motor neurons. Moreover, our data suggest that Lmx1b precisely maintains the expression pattern of Wnt1, Fgf8 and En1, which are essential for mid-hindbrain organizer function and the formation of mdDA neurons. PMID:26444681

  3. Differential Regulation of Action Potential Shape and Burst-Frequency Firing by BK and Kv2 Channels in Substantia Nigra Dopaminergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Kimm, Tilia; Khaliq, Zayd M.

    2015-01-01

    Little is known about the voltage-dependent potassium currents underlying spike repolarization in midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Studying mouse substantia nigra pars compacta dopaminergic neurons both in brain slice and after acute dissociation, we found that BK calcium-activated potassium channels and Kv2 channels both make major contributions to the depolarization-activated potassium current. Inhibiting Kv2 or BK channels had very different effects on spike shape and evoked firing. Inhibiting Kv2 channels increased spike width and decreased the afterhyperpolarization, as expected for loss of an action potential-activated potassium conductance. BK inhibition also increased spike width but paradoxically increased the afterhyperpolarization. Kv2 channel inhibition steeply increased the slope of the frequency–current (f–I) relationship, whereas BK channel inhibition had little effect on the f–I slope or decreased it, sometimes resulting in slowed firing. Action potential clamp experiments showed that both BK and Kv2 current flow during spike repolarization but with very different kinetics, with Kv2 current activating later and deactivating more slowly. Further experiments revealed that inhibiting either BK or Kv2 alone leads to recruitment of additional current through the other channel type during the action potential as a consequence of changes in spike shape. Enhancement of slowly deactivating Kv2 current can account for the increased afterhyperpolarization produced by BK inhibition and likely underlies the very different effects on the f–I relationship. The cross-regulation of BK and Kv2 activation illustrates that the functional role of a channel cannot be defined in isolation but depends critically on the context of the other conductances in the cell. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT This work shows that BK calcium-activated potassium channels and Kv2 voltage-activated potassium channels both regulate action potentials in dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra

  4. Brain tryptophan hydroxylase: purification of, production of antibodies to, and cellular and ultrastructural localization in serotonergic neurons of rat midbrain.

    PubMed Central

    Joh, T H; Shikimi, T; Pickel, V M; Reis, D J

    1975-01-01

    Tryptophan hydroxylase [EC 1.14.16.4; L-tryptophan, tetrahydropteridine:oxygen oxidoreductase (5-hydroxylating)], the enzyme catalyzing the rate-limiting step in the biosynthesis of serotonin, was purified 79-fold from the region of the raphe nucleus of rat midbrain by sequential column chromatography and disc-gel electrophoresis. In electrophoresis three bands were distinguished, A, B, and C, which, when separated and submitted individually to electrophoresis, reproduced the same three bands. Bands A and C were enzymatically active and inhibited by para-chlorohenylalanine. Antibodies produced to each of the three bands crossreacted by immuno double diffusion and electrophoresis with each other and homogenates of raphe nuclei; they completely inhibited enzyme activity only of tryptophan hydroxylase. Tryptophan hydroxylase was localized by light and electron immunohistochemistry to serotonin neutrons of the raphe. Ultrastructurally, in cell bodies, the enzyme was distributed in cytoplasm and in association with endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus. In dendrites and axons, it was associated with microtubules. Tryptophan hydroxylase in brain is only neuronal and cytoplasmic, exists in multiple forms, and is associated with microtubules, suggesting it may be transported from sites of synthesis in cell body into axons. Images PMID:1059145

  5. Dopaminergic system in birdsong learning and maintenance.

    PubMed

    Kubikova, Lubica; Kostál, Lubor

    2010-03-01

    Dopamine function in birdsong has been studied extensively in recent years. Several song and auditory nuclei are innervated by midbrain dopaminergic fibers and contain neurons with various dopamine receptors. During sexually motivated singing, activity of midbrain dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area and dopamine release in the striatal Area X, involved in song learning and maintenance, are higher. In this review we provide an overview of the dopaminergic system and neurotransmission in songbirds and the outline of possible involvement of dopamine in control of song learning, production, and maintenance. Based on both behavioral and computational biology data, we describe several models of song learning and the proposed role of dopamine in them. Special attention is given to possible role of dopamine in incentive salience (wanting) and reward prediction error signaling during song learning and maintenance, as well as the role of dopamine-mediated synaptic plasticity in reward processing. Finally, the role of dopamine in determination of personality traits in relation to birdsong is discussed.

  6. NADPH Oxidase and the Degeneration of Dopaminergic Neurons in Parkinsonian Mice

    PubMed Central

    Hernandes, Marina S.; Café-Mendes, Cecília C.; Britto, Luiz R. G.

    2013-01-01

    Several lines of investigation have implicated oxidative stress in Parkinson's disease (PD) pathogenesis, but the mechanisms involved are still unclear. In this study, we characterized the involvement of NADPH oxidase (Nox), a multisubunit enzyme that catalyzes the reduction of oxygen, in the 6-hydroxydopamine- (6-OHDA-) induced PD mice model and compared for the first time the effects of this neurotoxin in mice lacking gp91phox−/−, the catalytic subunit of Nox2, and pharmacological inhibition of Nox with apocynin. Six-OHDA induced increased protein expression of p47phox, a Nox subunit, in striatum. gp91phox−/− mice appear to be completely protected from dopaminergic cell loss, whereas the apocynin treatment conferred only a limited neuroprotection. Wt mice treated with apocynin and gp91phox−/− mice both exhibited ameliorated apomorphine-induced rotational behavior. The microglial activation observed within the striatum and the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) of 6-OHDA-injected Wt mice was prevented by apocynin treatment and was not detected in gp91phox−/− mice. Apocynin was not able to attenuate astrocyte activation in SN. The results support a role for Nox2 in the 6-OHDA-induced degeneration of dopaminergic neurons and glial cell activation in the nigrostriatal pathway and reveal that no comparable 6-OHDA effects were observed between apocynin-treated and gp91phox−/− mice groups. PMID:24379900

  7. Neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects of tripchlorolide, an extract of Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F, on dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Li, Feng-Qiao; Cheng, Xiao-Xin; Liang, Xi-Bin; Wang, Xin-Hong; Xue, Bing; He, Qi-Hua; Wang, Xiao-Min; Han, Ji-Sheng

    2003-01-01

    It has been reported recently that the immunosuppressant FK506 produced neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects on dopaminergic neurons in vitro and in vivo. We investigated whether tripchlorolide, an immunosuppressive extract of Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F, could exert similar neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects similar to those of FK506. It was found that tripchlorolide promoted axonal elongation and protected dopaminergic neurons from a neurotoxic lesion induced by 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion (MPP+) at concentrations of as low as 10(-12) to 10(-8) M. In situ hybridization study revealed that tripchlorolide stimulated brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA expression. In vivo administration of tripchlorolide (1 microg/kg, ip) for 28 days effectively attenuated the rotational behavior challenged by D-amphetamine in the model rats by transection of the medial forebrain bundle. In addition, tripchlorolide treatment (0.5 or 1 microg/kg/day for 28 days) increased the survival of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra pars compacta by 50 and 67%, respectively. Moreover, tripchlorolide markedly prevented the decrease in amount of dopamine in the striatum of model rats. Taken together, our data provide the first evidence that tripchlorolide acts as a neuroprotective molecule that rescues MPP+ or axotomy-induced degeneration of dopaminergic neurons, which may imply its therapeutic potential for Parkinson's disease. The underlying mechanism may be relevant to its neurotrophic effect and its efficacy in stimulating the expression of BDNF.

  8. In vitro differentiation of neural stem cells derived from human olfactory bulb into dopaminergic-like neurons.

    PubMed

    Alizadeh, Rafieh; Hassanzadeh, Gholamreza; Joghataei, Mohammad Taghi; Soleimani, Mansoureh; Moradi, Fatemeh; Mohammadpour, Shahram; Ghorbani, Jahangir; Safavi, Ali; Sarbishegi, Maryam; Pirhajati Mahabadi, Vahid; Alizadeh, Leila; Hadjighassem, Mahmoudreza

    2017-03-01

    This study describes a new accessible source of neuronal stem cells that can be used in Parkinson's disease cell transplant. The human olfactory bulb contains neural stem cells (NSCs) that are responsible for neurogenesis in the brain and the replacement of damaged cellular components throughout life. NSCs are capable of differentiating into neuronal and glial cells. We isolated NSCs from the olfactory bulb of brain-death donors and differentiated them into dopaminergic neurons. The olfactory bulb tissues obtained were cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium/nutrient mixture F12, B27 supplemented with basic fibroblast growth factor, epidermal growth factor and leukemia inhibitory factor. The NSCs and proliferation markers were assessed. The multipotentiality of olfactory bulb NSCs was demonstrated by their capacity to differentiate into neurons, oligodendrocytes and astrocytes. To generate dopaminergic neurons, olfactory bulb NSCs were differentiated in neurobasal medium, supplemented with B27, and treated with sonic hedgehog, fibroblast growth factor 8 and glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor from the 7th to the 21st day, followed by detection of dopaminergic neuronal markers including tyrosine hydroxylase and aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase. The cells were expanded, established in continuous cell lines and differentiated into the two classical neuronal phenotypes. The percentage of co-positive cells (microtubule-associated protein 2 and tyrosine hydroxylase; aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase and tyrosine hydroxylase) in the treated cells was significantly higher than in the untreated cells. These results illustrate the existence of multipotent NSCs in the adult human olfactory bulb that are capable of differentiating toward putative dopaminergic neurons in the presence of trophic factors. Taken together, our data encourage further investigations of the possible use of olfactory bulb NSCs as a promising cell-based therapeutic strategy for Parkinson

  9. Dopaminergic Neurones in the Main Olfactory Bulb: An Overview from an Electrophysiological Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Pignatelli, Angela; Belluzzi, Ottorino

    2017-01-01

    The olfactory bulb (OB), the first center processing olfactory information, is characterized by a vigorous life-long activity-dependent plasticity responsible for a variety of odor-evoked behavioral responses. It hosts the more numerous group of dopaminergic (DA) neurones in the central nervous system, cells strategically positioned at the entry of the bulbar circuitry, directly in contact with the olfactory nerve terminals, which play a key role in odor processing and in the adaptation of the bulbar network to external conditions. Here, we focus mainly on the electrophysiological properties of DA interneurones, reviewing findings concerning their excitability profiles in adulthood and in different phases of adult neurogenesis. We also discuss dynamic changes of the DA interneurones related to environmental stimuli and their possible functional implications. PMID:28261065

  10. Chronic organic manganese administration in the rat does not damage dopaminergic nigrostriatal neurons.

    PubMed

    Yong, V W; Perry, T L; Godolphin, W J; Jones, K A; Clavier, R M; Ito, M; Foulks, J G

    1986-01-01

    In an attempt to produce an animal model of Parkinson's disease, we injected rats repeatedly with high doses of methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT), a compound which has been reported to lower striatal dopamine content in mice. Chronic MMT administration for up to 5 months, even though it produced a substantial elevation in brain manganese content during the period of exposure, did not destroy dopaminergic nigrostriatal neurons. This was assessed by measurements of tyrosine hydroxylase activity and contents of dopamine and its metabolites in the striatum, and by histological examination of the substantia nigra. Our results differ from those of others who administered manganese chloride in drinking water to rats. This discrepancy is unlikely to be a consequence of differences in duration of exposure or route of administration. It could be due to our having used an organic rather than an inorganic manganese compound, or to a species difference in vulnerability to organic manganese between rats and mice.

  11. A microRNA embedded AAV alpha-synuclein gene silencing vector for dopaminergic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Han, Ye; Khodr, Christina E.; Sapru, Mohan K.; Pedapati, Jyothi; Bohn, Martha C.

    2011-01-01

    Alpha-synuclein (SNCA), an abundantly expressed presynaptic protein, is implicated in Parkinson disease (PD). Since over-expression of human SNCA (hSNCA) leads to death of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in human, rodent and fly brain, hSNCA gene silencing may reduce levels of toxic forms of SNCA and ameliorate degeneration of DA neurons in PD. To begin to develop a gene therapy for PD based on hSNCA gene silencing, two AAV gene silencing vectors were designed, and tested for efficiency and specificity of silencing, as well as toxicity in vitro. The same hSNCA silencing sequence (shRNA) was used in both vectors, but in one vector, the shRNA was embedded in a microRNA backbone and driven by a pol II promoter, and in the other the shRNA was not embedded in a microRNA and was driven by a pol III promoter. Both vectors silenced hSNCA to the same extent in 293T cells transfected with hSNCA. In DA PC12 cells, neither vector decreased expression of rat SNCA, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine transporter (DAT) or the vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT). However, the mir30 embedded vector was significantly less toxic to both PC12 and SH-SY5Y cells. Our in vitro data suggest that this miRNA-embedded silencing vector may be ideal for chronic in vivo SNCA gene silencing in DA neurons. PMID:21338582

  12. Clonal Human Fetal Ventral Mesencephalic Dopaminergic Neuron Precursors for Cell Therapy Research

    PubMed Central

    Ramos-Moreno, Tania; Lendínez, Javier G.; Pino-Barrio, María José; del Arco, Araceli; Martínez-Serrano, Alberto

    2012-01-01

    A major challenge for further development of drug screening procedures, cell replacement therapies and developmental studies is the identification of expandable human stem cells able to generate the cell types needed. We have previously reported the generation of an immortalized polyclonal neural stem cell (NSC) line derived from the human fetal ventral mesencephalon (hVM1). This line has been biochemically, genetically, immunocytochemically and electrophysiologically characterized to document its usefulness as a model system for the generation of A9 dopaminergic neurons (DAn). Long-term in vivo transplantation studies in parkinsonian rats showed that the grafts do not mature evenly. We reasoned that diverse clones in the hVM1 line might have different abilities to differentiate. In the present study, we have analyzed 9 hVM1 clones selected on the basis of their TH generation potential and, based on the number of v-myc copies, v-myc down-regulation after in vitro differentiation, in vivo cell cycle exit, TH+ neuron generation and expression of a neuronal mature marker (hNSE), we selected two clones for further in vivo PD cell replacement studies. The conclusion is that homogeneity and clonality of characterized NSCs allow transplantation of cells with controlled properties, which should help in the design of long-term in vivo experiments. PMID:23300748

  13. Ascorbate prevents cell death from prolonged exposure to glutamate in an in vitro model of human dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Ballaz, Santiago; Morales, Ingrid; Rodríguez, Manuel; Obeso, José A

    2013-12-01

    Ascorbate (vitamin C) is a nonenzymatic antioxidant highly concentrated in the brain. In addition to mediating redox balance, ascorbate is linked to glutamate neurotransmission in the striatum, where it renders neuroprotection against excessive glutamate stimulation. Oxidative stress and glutamatergic overactivity are key biochemical features accompanying the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra that characterizes Parkinson's disease (PD). At present, it is not clear whether antiglutamate agents and ascorbate might be neuroprotective agents for PD. Thus, we tested whether ascorbate can prevent cell death from prolonged exposure to glutamate using dopaminergic neurons of human origin. To this purpose, dopamine-like neurons were obtained by differentiation of SH-SY5Y cells and then cultured for 4 days without antioxidant (antiaging) protection to evaluate glutamate toxicity and ascorbate protection as a model system of potential factors contributing to dopaminergic neuron death in PD. Glutamate dose dependently induced toxicity in dopaminergic cells largely by the stimulation of AMPA and metabotropic receptors and to a lesser extent by N-methyl-D-aspartate and kainate receptors. At relatively physiological levels of extracellular concentration, ascorbate protected cells against glutamate excitotoxicity. This neuroprotection apparently relies on the inhibition of oxidative stress, because ascorbate prevented the pro-oxidant action of the scavenging molecule quercetin, which occurred over the course of prolonged exposure, as is also seen with glutamate. Our findings show the relevance of ascorbate as a neuroprotective agent and emphasize an often underappreciated role of oxidative stress in glutamate excitotoxicity. Occurrence of a glutamate-ascorbate link in dopaminergic neurons may explain previous contradictions regarding their putative role in PD.

  14. Protein Kinase D1 (PKD1) Phosphorylation Promotes Dopaminergic Neuronal Survival during 6-OHDA-Induced Oxidative Stress

    PubMed Central

    Asaithambi, Arunkumar; Ay, Muhammet; Jin, Huajun; Gosh, Anamitra; Anantharam, Vellareddy; Kanthasamy, Arthi; Kanthasamy, Anumantha G.

    2014-01-01

    Oxidative stress is a major pathophysiological mediator of degenerative processes in many neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s disease (PD). Aberrant cell signaling governed by protein phosphorylation has been linked to oxidative damage of dopaminergic neurons in PD. Although several studies have associated activation of certain protein kinases with apoptotic cell death in PD, very little is known about protein kinase regulation of cell survival and protection against oxidative damage and degeneration in dopaminergic neurons. Here, we characterized the PKD1-mediated protective pathway against oxidative damage in cell culture models of PD. Dopaminergic neurotoxicant 6-hydroxy dopamine (6-OHDA) was used to induce oxidative stress in the N27 dopaminergic cell model and in primary mesencephalic neurons. Our results indicated that 6-OHDA induced the PKD1 activation loop (PKD1S744/S748) phosphorylation during early stages of oxidative stress and that PKD1 activation preceded cell death. We also found that 6-OHDA rapidly increased phosphorylation of the C-terminal S916 in PKD1, which is required for PKD1 activation loop (PKD1S744/748) phosphorylation. Interestingly, negative modulation of PKD1 activation by RNAi knockdown or by the pharmacological inhibition of PKD1 by kbNB-14270 augmented 6-OHDA-induced apoptosis, while positive modulation of PKD1 by the overexpression of full length PKD1 (PKD1WT) or constitutively active PKD1 (PKD1S744E/S748E) attenuated 6-OHDA-induced apoptosis, suggesting an anti-apoptotic role for PKD1 during oxidative neuronal injury. Collectively, our results demonstrate that PKD1 signaling plays a cell survival role during early stages of oxidative stress in dopaminergic neurons and therefore, positive modulation of the PKD1-mediated signal transduction pathway can provide a novel neuroprotective strategy against PD. PMID:24806360

  15. 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.

  16. Proteolytic activation of proapoptotic kinase protein kinase Cδ by tumor necrosis factor α death receptor signaling in dopaminergic neurons during neuroinflammation

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The mechanisms of progressive dopaminergic neuronal loss in Parkinson’s disease (PD) remain poorly understood, largely due to the complex etiology and multifactorial nature of disease pathogenesis. Several lines of evidence from human studies and experimental models over the last decade have identified neuroinflammation as a potential pathophysiological mechanism contributing to disease progression. Tumor necrosis factor α (TNF) has recently emerged as the primary neuroinflammatory mediator that can elicit dopaminergic cell death in PD. However, the signaling pathways by which TNF mediates dopaminergic cell death have not been completely elucidated. Methods In this study we used a dopaminergic neuronal cell model and recombinant TNF to characterize intracellular signaling pathways activated during TNF-induced dopaminergic neurotoxicity. Etanercept and neutralizing antibodies to tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR1) were used to block TNF signaling. We confirmed the results from our mechanistic studies in primary embryonic mesencephalic cultures and in vivo using the stereotaxic lipopolysaccharide (LPS) model of nigral dopaminergic degeneration. Results TNF signaling in dopaminergic neuronal cells triggered the activation of protein kinase Cδ (PKCδ), an isoform of the novel PKC family, by caspase-3 and caspase-8 dependent proteolytic cleavage. Both TNFR1 neutralizing antibodies and the soluble TNF receptor Etanercept blocked TNF-induced PKCδ proteolytic activation. Proteolytic activation of PKCδ was accompanied by translocation of the kinase to the nucleus. Notably, inhibition of PKCδ signaling by small interfering (si)RNA or overexpression of a PKCδ cleavage-resistant mutant protected against TNF-induced dopaminergic neuronal cell death. Further, primary dopaminergic neurons obtained from PKCδ knockout (−/−) mice were resistant to TNF toxicity. The proteolytic activation of PKCδ in the mouse substantia nigra in the neuroinflammatory LPS

  17. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester protects against the dopaminergic neuronal loss induced by 6-hydroxydopamine in rats.

    PubMed

    Barros Silva, R; Santos, N A G; Martins, N M; Ferreira, D A S; Barbosa, F; Oliveira Souza, V C; Kinoshita, A; Baffa, O; Del-Bel, E; Santos, A C

    2013-03-13

    Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a botanical compound abundant in honeybees' propolis. It has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidant, immunomodulatory and antitumor properties. Its beneficial effects against neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, have also been suggested and some mechanisms have been proposed. Mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress are critical events in neurodegeneration. Release of cytochrome c from mitochondria to cytosol and the downstream activation of caspase-3 have been suggested as targets of the protective mechanism of CAPE. Most of the studies addressing the protective effect of CAPE have been performed in cell culture. This is the first study to demonstrate the protective effect of CAPE against the dopaminergic neuronal loss induced by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) in rats. It also demonstrates, for the first time, the inhibitory effect of CAPE on mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT), a mediator of neuronal death that triggers cytochrome c release and caspase-3 activation. Scavenging of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and metal chelation was demonstrated in the brain-affected areas of the rats treated with 6-OHDA and CAPE. Additionally, we demonstrated that CAPE does not affect brain mitochondrial function. Based on these findings and on its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, CAPE is a promising compound to treat Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

  18. The cellular and genomic response of rat dopaminergic neurons (N27) to coated nanosilver.

    PubMed

    Chorley, Brian; Ward, William; Simmons, Steven O; Vallanat, Beena; Veronesi, Bellina

    2014-12-01

    This study examined if nanosilver (nanoAg) of different sizes and coatings were differentially toxic to oxidative stress-sensitive neurons. N27 rat dopaminergic neurons were exposed (0.5-5 ppm) to a set of nanoAg of different sizes (10nm, 75 nm) and coatings (PVP, citrate) and their physicochemical, cellular and genomic response measured. Both coatings retained their manufactured sizes in culture media, however, the zeta potentials of both sizes of PVP-coated nanoAg were significantly less electronegative than those of their citrate-coated counterparts. Markers of oxidative stress, measured at 0.5-5 ppm exposure concentrations, indicated that caspase 3/7 activity and glutathione levels were significantly increased by both sizes of PVP-coated nanoAg and by the 75 nm citrate-coated nanoAg. Both sizes of PVP-coated nanoAg also increased intra-neuronal nitrite levels and activated ARE/NRF2, a reporter gene for the oxidative stress-protection pathway. Global gene expression on N27 neurons, exposed to 0.5 ppm for 8h, indicated a dominant effect by PVP-coated nanoAg over citrate. The 75 nm PVP-coated material altered 196 genes that were loosely associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. In contrast, the 10nm PVP-coated nanoAg altered 82 genes that were strongly associated with NRF2 oxidative stress pathways. Less that 20% of the affected genes were shared by both sizes of PVP-coated nanoAg. These cellular and genomic findings suggest that PVP-coated nanoAg is more bioactive than citrate-coated nanoAg. Although both sizes of PVP-coated nanoAg altered the genomic expression of N27 neurons along oxidative stress pathways, exposure to the 75 nm nanoAg favored pathways associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, whereas the 10nm PVP-coated nanoAg affected NRF2 neuronal protective pathways.

  19. Orexins contribute to restraint stress-induced cocaine relapse by endocannabinoid-mediated disinhibition of dopaminergic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Tung, Li-Wei; Lu, Guan-Ling; Lee, Yen-Hsien; Yu, Lung; Lee, Hsin-Jung; Leishman, Emma; Bradshaw, Heather; Hwang, Ling-Ling; Hung, Ming-Shiu; Mackie, Ken; Zimmer, Andreas; Chiou, Lih-Chu

    2016-01-01

    Orexins are associated with drug relapse in rodents. Here, we show that acute restraint stress in mice activates lateral hypothalamic (LH) orexin neurons, increases levels of orexin A and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and reinstates extinguished cocaine-conditioned place preference (CPP). This stress-induced reinstatement of cocaine CPP depends on type 1 orexin receptors (OX1Rs), type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs) and diacylglycerol lipase (DAGL) in the VTA. In dopaminergic neurons of VTA slices, orexin A presynaptically inhibits GABAergic transmission. This effect is prevented by internal GDP-β-S or inhibiting OX1Rs, CB1Rs, phospholipase C or DAGL, and potentiated by inhibiting 2-AG degradation. These results suggest that restraint stress activates LH orexin neurons, releasing orexins into the VTA to activate postsynaptic OX1Rs of dopaminergic neurons and generate 2-AG through a Gq-protein-phospholipase C-DAGL cascade. 2-AG retrogradely inhibits GABA release through presynaptic CB1Rs, leading to VTA dopaminergic disinhibition and reinstatement of cocaine CPP. PMID:27448020

  20. Presynaptic glycine receptors on GABAergic terminals facilitate discharge of dopaminergic neurons in ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Ye, Jiang-Hong; Wang, Fushun; Krnjevic, Kresimir; Wang, Weizhen; Xiong, Zhi-Gang; Zhang, Jingli

    2004-10-13

    GABA-mediated postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) were recorded from dopaminergic (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of rats, in acute brain slices, and from enzymatically or mechanically dissociated neurons. In young rats (3-10 d of age), where GABA is excitatory, glycine (1-3 microm) and taurine (10-30 microm) increased the amplitude of evoked IPSCs (eIPSCs) and the frequency of spontaneous IPSCs (sIPSCs) but had minimal postsynaptic effects. Strychnine (1 microm) blocked the action of glycine; when applied alone, it reduced the amplitude of eIPSCs and the frequency of sIPSCs, indicating a tonic facilitation of GABAergic excitation by some endogenous glycine agonist(s). In medium containing no Ca2+, or with Cd2+ or tetrodotoxin added, the amplitude and especially the frequency of sIPSCs greatly diminished. In many cells, glycine had no effect on remaining miniature IPSCs, suggesting a preterminal site of glycine receptors (GlyRs). Fura-2 fluorescent imaging showed a glycine-induced increase of [Ca2+] in nerve terminals (on DA neurons), which was suppressed by strychnine or 3 microm omega-conotoxin MVIIA. Therefore, the presynaptic GlyR-mediated facilitation of GABAergic transmission seems to be mediated by N- and/or P/Q-type Ca2+ channels. In older rats (22-30 d of age), where GABA causes inhibition, the effect of strychnine on GABAergic IPSCs was reversed to facilitation, indicating a tonic glycinergic inhibition of GABA release. Furthermore, glycine (1-3 microm) reduced the amplitude of eIPSCs and the frequency of sIPSCs. Hence, the overall effect of the presynaptic action of glycine is to enhance the firing of DA cells, both in very young and older rats.

  1. Inward rectifier potassium (Kir) current in dopaminergic periglomerular neurons of the mouse olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Borin, Mirta; Fogli Iseppe, Alex; Pignatelli, Angela; Belluzzi, Ottorino

    2014-01-01

    Dopaminergic (DA) periglomerular (PG) neurons are critically placed at the entry of the bulbar circuitry, directly in contact with both the terminals of olfactory sensory neurons and the apical dendrites of projection neurons; they are autorhythmic and are the target of numerous terminals releasing a variety of neurotransmitters. Despite the centrality of their position, suggesting a critical role in the sensory processing, their properties -and consequently their function- remain elusive. The current mediated by inward rectifier potassium (Kir) channels in DA-PG cells was recorded by adopting the perforated-patch configuration in thin slices; IKir could be distinguished from the hyperpolarization-activated current (I h ) by showing full activation in <10 ms, no inactivation, suppression by Ba(2+) in a typical voltage-dependent manner (IC50 208 μM) and reversal potential nearly coincident with EK. Ba(2+) (2 mM) induces a large depolarization of DA-PG cells, paralleled by an increase of the input resistance, leading to a block of the spontaneous activity, but the Kir current is not an essential component of the pacemaker machinery. The Kir current is negatively modulated by intracellular cAMP, as shown by a decrease of its amplitude induced by forskolin or 8Br-cAMP. We have also tested the neuromodulatory effects of the activation of several metabotropic receptors known to be present on these cells, showing that the current can be modulated by a multiplicity of pathways, whose activation in some case increases the amplitude of the current, as can be observed with agonists of D2, muscarinic, and GABAA receptors, whereas in other cases has the opposite effect, as it can be observed with agonists of α1 noradrenergic, 5-HT and histamine receptors. These characteristics of the Kir currents provide the basis for an unexpected plasticity of DA-PG cell function, making them potentially capable to reconfigure the bulbar network to allow a better flexibility.

  2. Hypothalamic dopaminergic neurons in an animal model of seasonal affective disorder.

    PubMed

    Deats, Sean P; Adidharma, Widya; Yan, Lily

    2015-08-18

    Light has profound effects on mood regulation as exemplified in seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and the therapeutic benefits of light therapy. However, the underlying neural pathways through which light regulates mood are not well understood. Our previous work has developed the diurnal grass rat, Arvicanthis niloticus, as an animal model of SAD. Following housing conditions of either 12:12 h dim light:dark (DLD) or 8:16 h short photoperiod (SP), which mimic the lower light intensity or short day-length of winter, respectively, grass rats exhibit an increase in depression-like behavior compared to those housed in a 12:12 h bright light:dark (BLD) condition. Furthermore, we have shown that the orexinergic system is involved in mediating the effects of light on mood and anxiety. To explore other potential neural substrates involved in the depressive phenotype, the present study examined hypothalamic dopaminergic (DA) and somatostatin (SST) neurons in the brains of grass rats housed in DLD, SP and BLD. Using immunostaining for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and SST, we found that the number of TH- and SST-ir cells in the hypothalamus was significantly lower in the DLD and SP groups compared to the BLD group. We also found that treating BLD animals with a selective orexin receptor 1 (OX1R) antagonist SB-334867 significantly reduced the number of hypothalamic TH-ir cells. The present study suggests that the hypothalamic DA neurons are sensitive to daytime light deficiency and are regulated by an orexinergic pathway. The results support the hypothesis that the orexinergic pathways mediate the effects of light on other neuronal systems that collectively contribute to light-dependent changes in the affective state.

  3. Midbrain Gene Screening Identifies a New Mesoaccumbal Glutamatergic Pathway and a Marker for Dopamine Cells Neuroprotected in Parkinson’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Viereckel, Thomas; Dumas, Sylvie; Smith-Anttila, Casey J. A.; Vlcek, Bianca; Bimpisidis, Zisis; Lagerström, Malin C.; Konradsson-Geuken, Åsa; Wallén-Mackenzie, Åsa

    2016-01-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) of the midbrain are associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD), schizophrenia, mood disorders and addiction. Based on the recently unraveled heterogeneity within the VTA and SNc, where glutamate, GABA and co-releasing neurons have been found to co-exist with the classical dopamine neurons, there is a compelling need for identification of gene expression patterns that represent this heterogeneity and that are of value for development of human therapies. Here, several unique gene expression patterns were identified in the mouse midbrain of which NeuroD6 and Grp were expressed within different dopaminergic subpopulations of the VTA, and TrpV1 within a small heterogeneous population. Optogenetics-coupled in vivo amperometry revealed a previously unknown glutamatergic mesoaccumbal pathway characterized by TrpV1-Cre-expression. Human GRP was strongly detected in non-melanized dopaminergic neurons within the SNc of both control and PD brains, suggesting GRP as a marker for neuroprotected neurons in PD. This study thus unravels markers for distinct subpopulations of neurons within the mouse and human midbrain, defines unique anatomical subregions within the VTA and exposes an entirely new glutamatergic pathway. Finally, both TRPV1 and GRP are implied in midbrain physiology of importance to neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:27762319

  4. Differential Effects of Toluene and Ethanol on Dopaminergic Neurons of the Ventral Tegmental Area

    PubMed Central

    Nimitvilai, Sudarat; You, Chang; Arora, Devinder S.; McElvain, Maureen A.; Vandegrift, Bertha J.; Brodie, Mark S.; Woodward, John J.

    2016-01-01

    Drugs of abuse increase the activity of dopaminergic neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and output from the VTA is critical for both natural and drug-induced reward and reinforcement. Ethanol and the abused inhalant toluene both enhance VTA neuronal firing, but the mechanisms of this effect is not fully known. In this study, we used extracellular recordings to compare the actions of toluene and ethanol on DA VTA neurons. Both ethanol and toluene increased the firing rate of DA neurons, although toluene was ~100 times more potent than ethanol. The mixed ion channel blocker quinine (100 μM) blocked the increases in firing produced by ethanol and toluene, indicating some similarity in mechanisms of excitation. A mixture of antagonists of GABA and cholinergic receptors did not prevent toluene-induced or ethanol-induced excitation, and toluene-induced excitation was not altered by co-administration of ethanol, suggesting independent mechanisms of excitation for ethanol and toluene. Concurrent blockade of NMDA, AMPA, and metabotropic glutamate receptors enhanced the excitatory effect of toluene while having no significant effect on ethanol excitation. Nicotine increased firing of DA VTA neurons, and this was blocked by the nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine (1 μM). Mecamylamine did not alter ethanol or toluene excitation of firing but the muscarinic antagonist atropine (5 μM) or a combination of GABA antagonists (bicuculline and CGP35348, 10 μM each) reduced toluene-induced excitation without affecting ethanol excitation. The Ih current blocker ZD7288 abolished the excitatory effect of toluene but unlike the block of ethanol excitation, the effect of ZD7288 was not reversed by the GIRK channel blocker barium, but was reversed by GABA antagonists. These results demonstrate that the excitatory effects of ethanol and toluene have some similarity, such as block by quinine and ZD7288, but also indicate that there are important differences between these two drugs

  5. Cholinergic and Dopaminergic Alterations in Nigrostriatal Neurons Are Involved in Environmental Enrichment Motor Protection in a Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Hilario, Willyan Franco; Herlinger, Alice Laschuk; Areal, Lorena Bianchine; de Moraes, Lívia Silveira; Ferreira, Tamara Andrea Alarcon; Andrade, Tassiane Emanuelle Servane; Martins-Silva, Cristina; Pires, Rita Gomes Wanderley

    2016-12-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the world, being characterized by dopaminergic neurodegeneration of substantia nigra pars compacta. PD pharmacotherapy has been based on dopamine replacement in the striatum with the dopaminergic precursor 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) and/or with dopaminergic agonists, alongside anticholinergic drugs in order to mitigate the motor abnormalities. However, these practices neither prevent nor stop the progression of the disease. Environmental enrichment (EE) has effectively prevented several neurodegenerative processes, mainly in preclinical trials. Several studies have demonstrated that EE induces biological changes, bearing on cognitive enhancement, neuroprotection, and on the attenuation of the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression. Herein, we investigated whether EE could prevent the motor, biochemical, and molecular abnormalities in a murine model of PD induced by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-2,3-dihydropyridine (MPTP). Our results show that EE does not prevent the dopaminergic striatal depletion induced by MPTP, despite having averted the MPTP-induced hyperlocomotion. However, it was able to slow down and avoid, respectively, the 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA) depletion. Analysis of dopaminergic mRNA alterations in the midbrain showed that D1R expression was increased by MPTP, while the normal expression level of this receptor was restored by EE. As for the cholinergic system, MPTP led to a decrease in the ChAT gene expression while increasing the expression of both AChE and M1R. EE attenuated and prevented-respectively-ChAT and M1R gene expression alterations triggered by MPTP in the midbrain. Overall, our data brings new evidence supporting the neuroprotective potential of EE in PD, focusing on the interaction between dopaminergic and cholinergic systems.

  6. Dopaminergic neurons differentiating from LRRK2 G2019S induced pluripotent stem cells show early neuritic branching defects.

    PubMed

    Borgs, Laurence; Peyre, Elise; Alix, Philippe; Hanon, Kevin; Grobarczyk, Benjamin; Godin, Juliette D; Purnelle, Audrey; Krusy, Nathalie; Maquet, Pierre; Lefebvre, Philippe; Seutin, Vincent; Malgrange, Brigitte; Nguyen, Laurent

    2016-09-19

    Some mutations of the LRRK2 gene underlie autosomal dominant form of Parkinson's disease (PD). The G2019S is a common mutation that accounts for about 2% of PD cases. To understand the pathophysiology of this mutation and its possible developmental implications, we developed an in vitro assay to model PD with human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) reprogrammed from skin fibroblasts of PD patients suffering from the LRKK2 G2019S mutation. We differentiated the hiPSCs into neural stem cells (NSCs) and further into dopaminergic neurons. Here we show that NSCs bearing the mutation tend to differentiate less efficiently into dopaminergic neurons and that the latter exhibit significant branching defects as compared to their controls.

  7. Dopaminergic neurons differentiating from LRRK2 G2019S induced pluripotent stem cells show early neuritic branching defects

    PubMed Central

    Borgs, Laurence; Peyre, Elise; Alix, Philippe; Hanon, Kevin; Grobarczyk, Benjamin; Godin, Juliette D.; Purnelle, Audrey; Krusy, Nathalie; Maquet, Pierre; Lefebvre, Philippe; Seutin, Vincent; Malgrange, Brigitte; Nguyen, Laurent

    2016-01-01

    Some mutations of the LRRK2 gene underlie autosomal dominant form of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The G2019S is a common mutation that accounts for about 2% of PD cases. To understand the pathophysiology of this mutation and its possible developmental implications, we developed an in vitro assay to model PD with human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) reprogrammed from skin fibroblasts of PD patients suffering from the LRKK2 G2019S mutation. We differentiated the hiPSCs into neural stem cells (NSCs) and further into dopaminergic neurons. Here we show that NSCs bearing the mutation tend to differentiate less efficiently into dopaminergic neurons and that the latter exhibit significant branching defects as compared to their controls. PMID:27640816

  8. Docosahexaenoic acid prevents paraquat-induced reactive oxygen species production in dopaminergic neurons via enhancement of glutathione homeostasis

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Hyoung Jun; Han, Jeongsu; Jang, Yunseon; Kim, Soo Jeong; Park, Ji Hoon; Seo, Kang Sik; Jeong, Soyeon; Shin, Soyeon; Lim, Kyu; Heo, Jun Young; Kweon, Gi Ryang

    2015-01-30

    Highlights: • DHA prevents PQ-induced dopaminergic neuronal loss via decreasing of excessive ROS. • DHA increases GR and GCLm derivate GSH pool by enhancement of Nrf2 expression. • Protective mechanism is removal of PQ-induced ROS via DHA-dependent GSH pool. • DHA may be a good preventive strategy for Parkinson’s disease (PD) therapy. - Abstract: Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels are reduced in the substantia nigra area in Parkinson’s disease patients and animal models, implicating docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as a potential treatment for preventing Parkinson’s disease and suggesting the need for investigations into how DHA might protect against neurotoxin-induced dopaminergic neuron loss. The herbicide paraquat (PQ) induces dopaminergic neuron loss through the excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We found that treatment of dopaminergic SN4741 cells with PQ reduced cell viability in a dose-dependent manner, but pretreatment with DHA ameliorated the toxic effect of PQ. To determine the toxic mechanism of PQ, we measured intracellular ROS content in different organelles with specific dyes. As expected, all types of ROS were increased by PQ treatment, but DHA pretreatment selectively decreased cytosolic hydrogen peroxide content. Furthermore, DHA treatment-induced increases in glutathione reductase and glutamate cysteine ligase modifier subunit (GCLm) mRNA expression were positively correlated with glutathione (GSH) content. Consistent with this increase in GCLm mRNA levels, Western blot analysis revealed that DHA pretreatment increased nuclear factor-erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) protein levels. These findings indicate that DHA prevents PQ-induced neuronal cell loss by enhancing Nrf2-regulated GSH homeostasis.

  9. Abnormal differentiation of dopaminergic neurons in zebrafish trpm7 mutant larvae impairs development of the motor pattern

    PubMed Central

    Decker, Amanda R.; McNeill, Matthew S.; Lambert, Aaron M.; Overton, Jeffrey D.; Chen, Yu-Chia; Lorca, Ramón A.; Johnson, Nicolas A.; Brockerhoff, Susan E.; Mohapatra, Durga P.; MacArthur, Heather; Panula, Pertti; Masino, Mark A.; Runnels, Loren W.; Cornell, Robert A.

    2014-01-01

    Transient receptor potential, melastatin-like 7 (Trpm7) is a combined ion channel and kinase implicated in the differentiation or function of many cell types. Early lethality in mice and frogs depleted of the corresponding gene impedes investigation of the functions of this protein particularly during later stages of development. By contrast, zebrafish trpm7 mutant larvae undergo early morphogenesis normally and thus do not have this limitation. The mutant larvae are characterized by multiple defects including melanocyte cell death, transient paralysis, and an ion imbalance that leads to the development of kidney stones. Here we report a requirement for Trpm7 in differentiation or function of dopaminergic neurons in vivo. First, trpm7 mutant larvae are hypomotile and fail to make a dopamine-dependent developmental transition in swim-bout length. Both of these deficits are partially rescued by the application of levodopa or dopamine. Second, histological analysis reveals that in trpm7 mutants a significant fraction of dopaminergic neurons lack expression of tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine synthesis. Third, trpm7 mutants are unusually sensitive to the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium, an oxidative stressor, and their motility is partially rescued by application of the iron chelator deferoxamine, an anti-oxidant. Finally, in SH-SY5Y cells, which model aspects of human dopaminergic neurons, forced expression of a channel-dead variant of TRPM7 causes cell death. In summary, a forward genetic screen in zebrafish has revealed that both melanocytes and dopaminergic neurons depend on the ion channel Trpm7. The mechanistic underpinning of this dependence requires further investigation. PMID:24291744

  10. Dual role for Drosophila lethal of scute in CNS midline precursor formation and dopaminergic neuron and motoneuron cell fate.

    PubMed

    Stagg, Stephanie B; Guardiola, Amaris R; Crews, Stephen T

    2011-06-01

    Dopaminergic neurons play important behavioral roles in locomotion, reward and aggression. The Drosophila H-cell is a dopaminergic neuron that resides at the midline of the ventral nerve cord. Both the H-cell and the glutamatergic H-cell sib are the asymmetric progeny of the MP3 midline precursor cell. H-cell sib cell fate is dependent on Notch signaling, whereas H-cell fate is Notch independent. Genetic analysis of genes that could potentially regulate H-cell fate revealed that the lethal of scute [l(1)sc], tailup and SoxNeuro transcription factor genes act together to control H-cell gene expression. The l(1)sc bHLH gene is required for all H-cell-specific gene transcription, whereas tailup acts in parallel to l(1)sc and controls genes involved in dopamine metabolism. SoxNeuro functions downstream of l(1)sc and controls expression of a peptide neurotransmitter receptor gene. The role of l(1)sc may be more widespread, as a l(1)sc mutant shows reductions in gene expression in non-midline dopaminergic neurons. In addition, l(1)sc mutant embryos possess defects in the formation of MP4-6 midline precursor and the median neuroblast stem cell, revealing a proneural role for l(1)sc in midline cells. The Notch-dependent progeny of MP4-6 are the mVUM motoneurons, and these cells also require l(1)sc for mVUM-specific gene expression. Thus, l(1)sc plays an important regulatory role in both neurogenesis and specifying dopaminergic neuron and motoneuron identities.

  11. Docosahexaenoic acid prevents paraquat-induced reactive oxygen species production in dopaminergic neurons via enhancement of glutathione homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyoung Jun; Han, Jeongsu; Jang, Yunseon; Kim, Soo Jeong; Park, Ji Hoon; Seo, Kang Sik; Jeong, Soyeon; Shin, Soyeon; Lim, Kyu; Heo, Jun Young; Kweon, Gi Ryang

    2015-01-30

    Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels are reduced in the substantia nigra area in Parkinson's disease patients and animal models, implicating docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as a potential treatment for preventing Parkinson's disease and suggesting the need for investigations into how DHA might protect against neurotoxin-induced dopaminergic neuron loss. The herbicide paraquat (PQ) induces dopaminergic neuron loss through the excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We found that treatment of dopaminergic SN4741 cells with PQ reduced cell viability in a dose-dependent manner, but pretreatment with DHA ameliorated the toxic effect of PQ. To determine the toxic mechanism of PQ, we measured intracellular ROS content in different organelles with specific dyes. As expected, all types of ROS were increased by PQ treatment, but DHA pretreatment selectively decreased cytosolic hydrogen peroxide content. Furthermore, DHA treatment-induced increases in glutathione reductase and glutamate cysteine ligase modifier subunit (GCLm) mRNA expression were positively correlated with glutathione (GSH) content. Consistent with this increase in GCLm mRNA levels, Western blot analysis revealed that DHA pretreatment increased nuclear factor-erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) protein levels. These findings indicate that DHA prevents PQ-induced neuronal cell loss by enhancing Nrf2-regulated GSH homeostasis.

  12. Dopaminergic Neuronal Loss, Reduced Neurite Complexity and Autophagic Abnormalities in Transgenic Mice Expressing G2019S Mutant LRRK2

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Brian M.; Stafa, Klodjan; Kim, Jaekwang; Banerjee, Rebecca; Westerlund, Marie; Pletnikova, Olga; Glauser, Liliane; Yang, Lichuan; Liu, Ying; Swing, Deborah A.; Beal, M. Flint; Troncoso, Juan C.; McCaffery, J. Michael; Jenkins, Nancy A.; Copeland, Neal G.; Galter, Dagmar; Thomas, Bobby; Lee, Michael K.; Dawson, Ted M.; Dawson, Valina L.; Moore, Darren J.

    2011-01-01

    Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene cause late-onset, autosomal dominant familial Parkinson's disease (PD) and also contribute to idiopathic PD. LRRK2 mutations represent the most common cause of PD with clinical and neurochemical features that are largely indistinguishable from idiopathic disease. Currently, transgenic mice expressing wild-type or disease-causing mutants of LRRK2 have failed to produce overt neurodegeneration, although abnormalities in nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurotransmission have been observed. Here, we describe the development and characterization of transgenic mice expressing human LRRK2 bearing the familial PD mutations, R1441C and G2019S. Our study demonstrates that expression of G2019S mutant LRRK2 induces the degeneration of nigrostriatal pathway dopaminergic neurons in an age-dependent manner. In addition, we observe autophagic and mitochondrial abnormalities in the brains of aged G2019S LRRK2 mice and markedly reduced neurite complexity of cultured dopaminergic neurons. These new LRRK2 transgenic mice will provide important tools for understanding the mechanism(s) through which familial mutations precipitate neuronal degeneration and PD. PMID:21494637

  13. Neuroprotective effects of tetramethylpyrazine against dopaminergic neuron injury in a rat model of Parkinson's disease induced by MPTP.

    PubMed

    Lu, Chen; Zhang, Jin; Shi, Xiaopeng; Miao, Shan; Bi, Linlin; Zhang, Song; Yang, Qian; Zhou, Xuanxuan; Zhang, Meng; Xie, Yanhua; Miao, Qing; Wang, Siwang

    2014-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most prevalent progressive neurodegenerative disease. Although several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the pathogenesis of PD, apoptotic cell death and oxidative stress are the most prevalent mechanisms. Tetramethylpyrazine (TMP) is a biological component that has been extracted from Ligusticum wallichii Franchat (ChuanXiong), which exhibits anti-apoptotic and antioxidant roles. In the current study, we aimed to investigate the possible protective effect of TMP against dopaminergic neuron injury in a rat model of Parkinson's disease induced by MPTP and to elucidate probable molecular mechanisms. The results showed that TMP could notably prevent MPTP-induced dopaminergic neurons damage, reflected by improvement of motor deficits, enhancement of TH expression and the content of dopamine and its metabolite, DOPAC. We observed MPTP-induced activation of mitochondrial apoptotic death pathway, evidenced by up-regulation of Bax, down-regulation of Bcl-2, release of cytochrome c and cleavage of caspase 3, which was significantly inhibited by TMP. Moreover, TMP could prevent MPTP-increased TBARS level and MPTP-decreased GSH level, indicating the antioxidant role of TMP in PD model. And the antioxidant role of TMP attributes to the prevention of MPTP-induced reduction of Nrf2 and GCLc expression. In conclusion, in MPTP-induced PD model, TMP prevents the down-regulation of Nrf2 and GCLc, maintaining redox balance and inhibiting apoptosis, leading to the attenuation of dopaminergic neuron damage. The effectiveness of TMP in treating PD potentially leads to interesting therapeutic perspectives.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Dopaminergic neurons write and update memories with cell-type-specific rules

    PubMed Central

    Aso, Yoshinori; Rubin, Gerald M

    2016-01-01

    Associative learning is thought to involve parallel and distributed mechanisms of memory formation and storage. In Drosophila, the mushroom body (MB) is the major site of associative odor memory formation. Previously we described the anatomy of the adult MB and defined 20 types of dopaminergic neurons (DANs) that each innervate distinct MB compartments (Aso et al., 2014a, 2014b). Here we compare the properties of memories formed by optogenetic activation of individual DAN cell types. We found extensive differences in training requirements for memory formation, decay dynamics, storage capacity and flexibility to learn new associations. Even a single DAN cell type can either write or reduce an aversive memory, or write an appetitive memory, depending on when it is activated relative to odor delivery. Our results show that different learning rules are executed in seemingly parallel memory systems, providing multiple distinct circuit-based strategies to predict future events from past experiences. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16135.001 PMID:27441388

  16. 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.

  17. An Efficient and Versatile System for Visualization and Genetic Modification of Dopaminergic Neurons in Transgenic Mice

    PubMed Central

    Kramer, Edgar R.

    2015-01-01

    Background & Aims The brain dopaminergic (DA) system is involved in fine tuning many behaviors and several human diseases are associated with pathological alterations of the DA system such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) and drug addiction. Because of its complex network integration, detailed analyses of physiological and pathophysiological conditions are only possible in a whole organism with a sophisticated tool box for visualization and functional modification. Methods & Results Here, we have generated transgenic mice expressing the tetracycline-regulated transactivator (tTA) or the reverse tetracycline-regulated transactivator (rtTA) under control of the tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) promoter, TH-tTA (tet-OFF) and TH-rtTA (tet-ON) mice, to visualize and genetically modify DA neurons. We show their tight regulation and efficient use to overexpress proteins under the control of tet-responsive elements or to delete genes of interest with tet-responsive Cre. In combination with mice encoding tet-responsive luciferase, we visualized the DA system in living mice progressively over time. Conclusion These experiments establish TH-tTA and TH-rtTA mice as a powerful tool to generate and monitor mouse models for DA system diseases. PMID:26291828

  18. The cortical modulation of stimulus-specific adaptation in the auditory midbrain and thalamus: a potential neuronal correlate for predictive coding

    PubMed Central

    Malmierca, Manuel S.; Anderson, Lucy A.; Antunes, Flora M.

    2015-01-01

    To follow an ever-changing auditory scene, the auditory brain is continuously creating a representation of the past to form expectations about the future. Unexpected events will produce an error in the predictions that should “trigger” the network’s response. Indeed, neurons in the auditory midbrain, thalamus and cortex, respond to rarely occurring sounds while adapting to frequently repeated ones, i.e., they exhibit stimulus specific adaptation (SSA). SSA cannot be explained solely by intrinsic membrane properties, but likely involves the participation of the network. Thus, SSA is envisaged as a high order form of adaptation that requires the influence of cortical areas. However, present research supports the hypothesis that SSA, at least in its simplest form (i.e., to frequency deviants), can be transmitted in a bottom-up manner through the auditory pathway. Here, we briefly review the underlying neuroanatomy of the corticofugal projections before discussing state of the art studies which demonstrate that SSA present in the medial geniculate body (MGB) and inferior colliculus (IC) is not inherited from the cortex but can be modulated by the cortex via the corticofugal pathways. By modulating the gain of neurons in the thalamus and midbrain, the auditory cortex (AC) would refine SSA subcortically, preventing irrelevant information from reaching the cortex. PMID:25805974

  19. Selenoprotein T Exerts an Essential Oxidoreductase Activity That Protects Dopaminergic Neurons in Mouse Models of Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Boukhzar, Loubna; Hamieh, Abdallah; Cartier, Dorthe; Tanguy, Yannick; Alsharif, Ifat; Castex, Matthieu; Arabo, Arnaud; Hajji, Sana El; Bonnet, Jean-Jacques; Errami, Mohammed; Falluel-Morel, Anthony; Chagraoui, Abdeslam; Lihrmann, Isabelle

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Aims: Oxidative stress is central to the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD), but the mechanisms involved in the control of this stress in dopaminergic cells are not fully understood. There is increasing evidence that selenoproteins play a central role in the control of redox homeostasis and cell defense, but the precise contribution of members of this family of proteins during the course of neurodegenerative diseases is still elusive. Results: We demonstrated first that selenoprotein T (SelT) whose gene disruption is lethal during embryogenesis, exerts a potent oxidoreductase activity. In the SH-SY5Y cell model of dopaminergic neurons, both silencing and overexpression of SelT affected oxidative stress and cell survival. Treatment with PD-inducing neurotoxins such as 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) or rotenone triggered SelT expression in the nigrostriatal pathway of wild-type mice, but provoked rapid and severe parkinsonian-like motor defects in conditional brain SelT-deficient mice. This motor impairment was associated with marked oxidative stress and neurodegeneration and decreased tyrosine hydroxylase activity and dopamine levels in the nigrostriatal system. Finally, in PD patients, we report that SelT is tremendously increased in the caudate putamen tissue. Innovation: These results reveal the activity of a novel selenoprotein enzyme that protects dopaminergic neurons against oxidative stress and prevents early and severe movement impairment in animal models of PD. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that selenoproteins such as SelT play a crucial role in the protection of dopaminergic neurons against oxidative stress and cell death, providing insight into the molecular underpinnings of this stress in PD. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 24, 557–574. PMID:26866473

  20. Striatal Dysfunctions Associated with Mitochondrial DNA Damage in Dopaminergic Neurons in a Mouse Model of Parkinson’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Pickrell, Alicia M.; Pinto, Milena; Hida, Aline; Moraes, Carlos T.

    2012-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one of the most common progressive neurodegenerative disorders, characterized by resting tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, and postural instability. These symptoms are associated with massive loss of tyrosine hydroxylase-positive neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) causing an estimated 70–80% depletion of dopamine (DA) in the striatum, where their projections are located. Although the etiology of PD is unknown, mitochondrial dysfunctions have been associated with the disease pathophysiology. We used a mouse model expressing a mitochondria-targeted restriction enzyme, PstI or mito-PstI, to damage mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in dopaminergic neurons. The expression of mito-PstI induces double-strand breaks in the mtDNA, leading to an oxidative phosphorylation deficiency, mostly due to mtDNA depletion. Taking advantage of a dopamine transporter (DAT) promoter-driven tetracycline transactivator protein (tTA), we expressed mito-PstI exclusively in dopaminergic neurons, creating a novel PD transgenic mouse model (PD-mito-PstI mouse). These mice recapitulate most of the major features of PD: they have a motor phenotype that is reversible with l-DOPA treatment, a progressive neurodegeneration of the SN dopaminergic population, and striatal DA depletion. Our results also showed that behavioral phenotypes in PD-mito-PstI mice were associated with striatal dysfunctions preceding SN loss of tyrosine hydroxylase-positive neurons and that other neurotransmitter systems [noradrenaline (NE) and serotonin (5-HT)] were increased after the disruption of DA neurons, potentially as a compensatory mechanism. This transgenic mouse model provides a novel model to study the role of mitochondrial defects in the axonal projections of the striatum in the pathophysiology of PD. PMID:22131425

  1. A neural extracellular matrix-based method for in vitro hippocampal neuron culture and dopaminergic differentiation of neural stem cells

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The ability to recreate an optimal cellular microenvironment is critical to understand neuronal behavior and functionality in vitro. An organized neural extracellular matrix (nECM) promotes neural cell adhesion, proliferation and differentiation. Here, we expanded previous observations on the ability of nECM to support in vitro neuronal differentiation, with the following goals: (i) to recreate complex neuronal networks of embryonic rat hippocampal cells, and (ii) to achieve improved levels of dopaminergic differentiation of subventricular zone (SVZ) neural progenitor cells. Methods Hippocampal cells from E18 rat embryos were seeded on PLL- and nECM-coated substrates. Neurosphere cultures were prepared from the SVZ of P4-P7 rat pups, and differentiation of neurospheres assayed on PLL- and nECM-coated substrates. Results When seeded on nECM-coated substrates, both hippocampal cells and SVZ progenitor cells showed neural expression patterns that were similar to their poly-L-lysine-seeded counterparts. However, nECM-based cultures of both hippocampal neurons and SVZ progenitor cells could be maintained for longer times as compared to poly-L-lysine-based cultures. As a result, nECM-based cultures gave rise to a more branched neurite arborization of hippocampal neurons. Interestingly, the prolonged differentiation time of SVZ progenitor cells in nECM allowed us to obtain a purer population of dopaminergic neurons. Conclusions We conclude that nECM-based coating is an efficient substrate to culture neural cells at different stages of differentiation. In addition, neural ECM-coated substrates increased neuronal survival and neuronal differentiation efficiency as compared to cationic polymers such as poly-L-lysine. PMID:23594371

  2. Ethanol effects on dopaminergic ventral tegmental area neurons during block of Ih: involvement of barium-sensitive potassium currents.

    PubMed

    McDaid, John; McElvain, Maureen A; Brodie, Mark S

    2008-09-01

    The dopaminergic neurons of the ventral tegmental area (DA VTA neurons) are important for the rewarding and reinforcing properties of drugs of abuse, including ethanol. Ethanol increases the firing frequency of DA VTA neurons from rats and mice. Because of a recent report on block of ethanol excitation in mouse DA VTA neurons with ZD7288, a selective blocker of the hyperpolarization-activated cationic current Ih, we examined the effect of ZD7288 on ethanol excitation in DA VTA neurons from C57Bl/6J and DBA/2J mice and Fisher 344 rats. Ethanol (80 mM) caused only increases in firing rate in mouse DA VTA neurons in the absence of ZD7288, but in the presence of ZD7288 (30 microM), ethanol produced a more transient excitation followed by a decrease of firing. This same biphasic phenomenon was observed in DA VTA neurons from rats in the presence of ZD7288 only at very high ethanol concentrations (160-240 mM) but not at lower pharmacologically relevant concentrations. The longer latency ethanol-induced inhibition was not observed in DA VTA neurons from mice or rats in the presence of barium (100 microM), which blocks G protein-linked potassium channels (GIRKs) and other inwardly rectifying potassium channels. Ethanol may have a direct effect to increase an inhibitory potassium conductance, but this effect of ethanol can only decrease the firing rate if Ih is blocked.

  3. Mitochondrial angiotensin receptors in dopaminergic neurons. Role in cell protection and aging-related vulnerability to neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Valenzuela, Rita; Costa-Besada, Maria A; Iglesias-Gonzalez, Javier; Perez-Costas, Emma; Villar-Cheda, Begoña; Garrido-Gil, Pablo; Melendez-Ferro, Miguel; Soto-Otero, Ramon; Lanciego, Jose L; Henrion, Daniel; Franco, Rafael; Labandeira-Garcia, Jose L

    2016-01-01

    The renin–angiotensin system (RAS) was initially considered as a circulating humoral system controlling blood pressure, being kidney the key control organ. In addition to the ‘classical' humoral RAS, a second level in RAS, local or tissular RAS, has been identified in a variety of tissues, in which local RAS play a key role in degenerative and aging-related diseases. The local brain RAS plays a major role in brain function and neurodegeneration. It is normally assumed that the effects are mediated by the cell-surface-specific G-protein-coupled angiotensin type 1 and 2 receptors (AT1 and AT2). A combination of in vivo (rats, wild-type mice and knockout mice) and in vitro (primary mesencephalic cultures, dopaminergic neuron cell line cultures) experimental approaches (confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, laser capture microdissection, transfection of fluorescent-tagged receptors, treatments with fluorescent angiotensin, western blot, polymerase chain reaction, HPLC, mitochondrial respirometry and other functional assays) were used in the present study. We report the discovery of AT1 and AT2 receptors in brain mitochondria, particularly mitochondria of dopaminergic neurons. Activation of AT1 receptors in mitochondria regulates superoxide production, via Nox4, and increases respiration. Mitochondrial AT2 receptors are much more abundant and increase after treatment of cells with oxidative stress inducers, and produce, via nitric oxide, a decrease in mitochondrial respiration. Mitochondria from the nigral region of aged rats displayed altered expression of AT1 and AT2 receptors. AT2-mediated regulation of mitochondrial respiration represents an unrecognized primary line of defence against oxidative stress, which may be particularly important in neurons with increased levels of oxidative stress such as dopaminergic neurons. Altered expression of AT1 and AT2 receptors with aging may induce mitochondrial dysfunction, the main risk factor for neurodegeneration

  4. Homeodomain Interacting Protein Kinase 2 Regulates Postnatal Development of Enteric Dopaminergic Neurons and Glia via BMP Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Chalazonitis, Alcmène; Tang, Amy A.; Shang, Yulei; Pham, Tuan D.; Hsieh, Ivy; Setlik, Wanda; Gershon, Michael D.; Huang, Eric J.

    2011-01-01

    Trophic factor signaling is important for the migration, differentiation and survival of enteric neurons during development. The mechanisms that regulate the maturation of enteric neurons in postnatal life, however, are poorly understood. Here, we show that transcriptional cofactor HIPK2 (homeodomain interacting protein kinase 2) is required for the maturation of enteric neurons and for regulating gliogenesis during postnatal development. Mice lacking HIPK2 display a spectrum of gastrointestinal (GI) phenotypes, including distention of colon and slowed GI transit time. Although loss of HIPK2 does not affect enteric neuron in prenatal development, a progressive loss of enteric neurons occurs during postnatal life in Hipk2−/− -mutant mice that preferentially affects the dopaminergic population of neurons in the caudal region of the intestine. The mechanism by which HIPK2 regulates postnatal enteric neuron development appears to involve the response of enteric neurons to bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). Specifically, compared to wild type mice, a larger proportion of enteric neurons in Hipk2−/−mutants have abnormally high level of phosphorylated Smad1/5/8. Consistent with the ability of BMP signaling to promote gliogenesis, Hipk2−/− mutants show a significant increase in glia in the ENS. In addition, numbers of autophagosomes are increased in enteric neurons in Hipk2−/−mutants and synaptic maturation is arrested. These results reveal a new role for HIPK2 as an important transcriptional cofactor that regulates the BMP signaling pathway in the maintenance of enteric neurons and glia, and further suggest that HIPK2 and its associated signaling mechanisms may be therapeutically altered to promote postnatal neuronal maturation. PMID:21957238

  5. Degeneration of dopaminergic neurons induced by thrombin injection in the substantia nigra of the rat is enhanced by dexamethasone: role of monoamine oxidase enzyme.

    PubMed

    Argüelles, Sandro; Herrera, Antonio J; Carreño-Müller, Eloisa; de Pablos, Rocío M; Villarán, Ruth F; Espinosa-Oliva, Ana M; Machado, Alberto; Cano, Josefina

    2010-01-01

    Anti-inflammatory strategies receive growing attention for their potential to prevent pathological deterioration in disorders such as Parkinson's disease, which is accompanied by inflammatory reactions that might play a critical role in the degeneration of nigral dopaminergic neurons. We investigated the influence of dexamethasone - a potent synthetic member of the glucocorticoids class of steroid hormones that acts as an anti-inflammatory - on the degeneration of the dopaminergic neurons of rats observed after intranigral injection of thrombin, a serine protease that induces inflammation through microglia proliferation and activation. We evaluated tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons as well as astroglial and microglial populations; dexamethasone prevented the loss of astrocytes but was unable to stop microglial proliferation induced by thrombin. Moreover, dexamethasone produced alterations in the levels of nexin and the thrombin receptor PAR-1, and facilitated accumulation of alpha-synuclein induced by thrombin in dopaminergic neurons. Dexamethasone increased oxidative stress and expression of monoamine oxidase A and B, along with changes on different MAP kinases related to degenerative processes, resulting in a bigger loss of dopaminergic neurons after intranigral injection of thrombin in dexamethasone-treated animals. It is interesting to ascertain that inhibition of monoamine oxidase by tranylcypromine prevented neurodegeneration of dopaminergic neurons, thus suggesting that the deleterious effects of dexamethasone might be mediated by monoamine oxidase.

  6. Triptolide, a Chinese herbal extract, protects dopaminergic neurons from inflammation-mediated damage through inhibition of microglial activation.

    PubMed

    Li, Feng-Qiao; Lu, Xiu-Zhi; Liang, Xi-Bin; Zhou, Hui-Fang; Xue, Bing; Liu, Xian-Yu; Niu, Dong-Bin; Han, Ji-Sheng; Wang, Xiao-Min

    2004-03-01

    Mounting lines of evidence have suggested that brain inflammation participates in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. Triptolide is one of the major active components of Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F, which possesses potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. We found that triptolide concentration-dependently attenuated the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced decrease in [3H]dopamine uptake and loss of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive neurons in primary mesencephalic neuron/glia mixed culture. Triptolide also blocked LPS-induced activation of microglia and excessive production of TNFalpha and NO. Our data suggests that triptolide may protect dopaminergic neurons from LPS-induced injury and its efficiency in inhibiting microglia activation may underlie the mechanism.

  7. An update on the connections of the ventral mesencephalic dopaminergic complex

    PubMed Central

    Yetnikoff, Leora; Lavezzi, Heather N.; Reichard, Rhett A.; Zahm, Daniel S.

    2014-01-01

    This review covers the intrinsic organization and afferent and efferent connections of the midbrain dopaminergic complex, comprising the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area and retrorubral field, which house, respectively, the A9, A10 and A8 groups of nigrostriatal, mesolimbic and mesocortical dopaminergic neurons. In addition, A10dc (dorsal, caudal) and A10rv (rostroventral) extensions into, respectively, the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray and supramammillary nucleus are discussed. Associated intrinsic and extrinsic connections of the midbrain dopaminergic complex that utilize gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate and neuropeptides and various co-expressed combinations of these compounds are considered in conjunction with the dopamine-containing systems. A framework is provided for understanding the organization of masssive afferent systems descending and ascending to the midbrain dopaminergic complex from the telencephalon and brainstem, respectively. Within the context of this framework, the basal ganglia direct and indirect output pathways are treated in some detail. Findings from rodent brain are briefly compared with those from primates, including human. Recent literature is emphasized, including traditional experimental neuroanatomical and modern gene transfer and optogenetic studies. An attempt was made to provide sufficient background and cite a representative sampling of earlier primary papers and reviews so that people new to the field may find this to be a relatively comprehensive treatment of the subject. PMID:24735820

  8. Pacemaking in dopaminergic ventral tegmental area neurons: depolarizing drive from background and voltage-dependent sodium conductances

    PubMed Central

    Khaliq, Zayd M.; Bean, Bruce P.

    2010-01-01

    Dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) fire spontaneously in a pacemaker-like manner. We analyzed the ionic currents that drive pacemaking in dopaminergic VTA neurons, studied in mouse brain slices. Pacemaking was not inhibited by blocking hyperpolarization-activated cation current (Ih) or blocking all calcium current by Mg2+ replacement of Ca2+. Tetrodotoxin (TTX) stopped spontaneous activity and usually resulted in stable resting potentials near −60 mV to −55 mV, 10–15 mV below the action potential threshold. When external sodium was replaced by N-methyl-D-glucamine (NMDG) with TTX present, cells hyperpolarized by an average of −11 mV, suggesting a significant resting sodium conductance not sensitive to TTX. Voltage-clamp experiments using slow (10 mV/s) ramps showed a steady-state, steeply voltage-dependent current blocked by TTX that activates near −60 mV, as well as a sodium “background” current with little voltage-sensitivity, revealed by NMDG replacement for sodium with TTX present. We quantified these two components of sodium current during the pacemaking trajectory using action potential clamp. The initial phase of depolarization, up to about −55 mV, is driven mainly by non-voltage-dependent sodium background current. Above −55 mV, TTX-sensitive voltage-dependent “persistent” Na current helps drive the final phase of depolarization to the spike threshold. Voltage-dependent calcium current is small at all subthreshold voltages. The pacemaking mechanism in VTA neurons differs from that in substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) neurons, where subthreshold calcium current plays a dominant role. In addition, we found that non-voltage-dependent background sodium current is much smaller in SNc neurons than VTA neurons. PMID:20505107

  9. Expression by midbrain dopamine neurons of Sema3A and 3F receptors is associated with chemorepulsion in vitro but a mild in vivo phenotype.

    PubMed

    Torre, Enrique R; Gutekunst, Claire-Anne; Gross, Robert E

    2010-06-01

    Here we explore the role of semaphorin 3A and 3F (Sema3A, Sema3F) in the formation of the mesotelencephalic pathway. We show that Sema3A and 3F are expressed in the ventral mesencephalon (VM) of E13.5 rat embryos; the receptors Neuropilin 1 and Neuropilin 2, and co-receptors L1CAM, NrCAM, and Plexins A1 and A3 but not A4 are expressed by VM dopaminergic neurons; these neurons bind Sema3A and 3F in vitro which induces collapse of their growth cones and elicits, with different potencies, a repulsive response; and this response is absent in axons from Nrp1 and Nrp2 null embryos. Despite these in vitro effects, only very mild anatomical defects were detected in the organization of the mesotelencephalic pathway in embryonic and adult Nrp1 or Nrp2 null mice. However, the dopaminergic meso-habenular pathway and catecholaminergic neurons in the parafascicular and paraventricular nuclei of the thalamus were significantly affected in Nrp2 null mice. These data are consistent with a model whereby Sema3A and 3F, in combination with other guidance molecules, contributes to the navigation of DA axons to their final synaptic targets.

  10. Loss of enteric dopaminergic neurons and associated changes in colon motility in an MPTP mouse model of Parkinson's disease

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Grant; Noorian, Ali Reza; Taylor, Georgia; Anitha, Mallappa; Bernhard, Doug; Srinivasan, Shanthi; Greene, James G.

    2007-01-01

    Gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction is the most common non-motor symptom of Parkinson's disease (PD). Symptoms of GI dysmotility include early satiety and nausea from delayed gastric emptying, bloating from poor small bowel coordination, and constipation and defecatory dysfunction from impaired colonic transit. Understanding the pathophysiology and treatment of these symptoms in PD patients has been hampered by the lack of investigation into GI symptoms and pathology in PD animal models. We report that the prototypical parkinsonian neurotoxin, MPTP (1-methyl 4-phenyl 1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine), is a selective dopamine neuron toxin in the enteric nervous system (ENS). When examined 10 days after treatment, there was a 40% reduction of dopamine neurons in the ENS of C57Bl/6 mice administered MPTP (60 mg/kg). There were no differences in the density of cholinergic or nitric oxide neurons. Electrophysiological recording of neural-mediated muscle contraction in isolated colon from MPTP-treated animals confirmed a relaxation defect associated with dopaminergic degeneration. Behaviorally, MPTP induced a transient increase in colon motility, but no changes in gastric emptying or small intestine transit. These results provide the first comprehensive assessment of gastrointestinal pathophysiology in an animal model of PD. They provide insight into the impact of dopaminergic dysfunction on gastrointestinal motility and a benchmark for assessment of other PD model systems. PMID:17586496

  11. Neuroprotective Effects of Tetramethylpyrazine against Dopaminergic Neuron Injury in a Rat Model of Parkinson's Disease Induced by MPTP

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Chen; Zhang, Jin; Shi, Xiaopeng; Miao, Shan; Bi, Linlin; Zhang, Song; Yang, Qian; Zhou, Xuanxuan; Zhang, Meng; Xie, Yanhua; Miao, Qing; Wang, Siwang

    2014-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most prevalent progressive neurodegenerative disease. Although several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the pathogenesis of PD, apoptotic cell death and oxidative stress are the most prevalent mechanisms. Tetramethylpyrazine (TMP) is a biological component that has been extracted from Ligusticum wallichii Franchat (ChuanXiong), which exhibits anti-apoptotic and antioxidant roles. In the current study, we aimed to investigate the possible protective effect of TMP against dopaminergic neuron injury in a rat model of Parkinson's disease induced by MPTP and to elucidate probable molecular mechanisms. The results showed that TMP could notably prevent MPTP-induced dopaminergic neurons damage, reflected by improvement of motor deficits, enhancement of TH expression and the content of dopamine and its metabolite, DOPAC. We observed MPTP-induced activation of mitochondrial apoptotic death pathway, evidenced by up-regulation of Bax, down-regulation of Bcl-2, release of cytochrome c and cleavage of caspase 3, which was significantly inhibited by TMP. Moreover, TMP could prevent MPTP-increased TBARS level and MPTP-decreased GSH level, indicating the antioxidant role of TMP in PD model. And the antioxidant role of TMP attributes to the prevention of MPTP-induced reduction of Nrf2 and GCLc expression. In conclusion, in MPTP-induced PD model, TMP prevents the down-regulation of Nrf2 and GCLc, maintaining redox balance and inhibiting apoptosis, leading to the attenuation of dopaminergic neuron damage. The effectiveness of TMP in treating PD potentially leads to interesting therapeutic perspectives. PMID:24719552

  12. Squamosamide derivative FLZ protected dopaminergic neuron by activating Akt signaling pathway in 6-OHDA-induced in vivo and in vitro Parkinson's disease models.

    PubMed

    Bao, Xiu-Qi; Kong, Xiang-Chen; Kong, Li-Bing; Wu, Liang-Yu; Sun, Hua; Zhang, Dan

    2014-02-14

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease affecting up to 80% of dopaminergic neurons in the nigrostriatal pathway. FLZ, a novel synthetic squamosamide derivative from a Chinese herb, has been shown to have neuroprotective effects in experimental PD models. In this study, we carried out a set of in vitro and in vivo experiments to address the neuroprotective effect of FLZ and related mechanism. The results showed that FLZ significantly improved motor dysfunction and dopaminergic neuronal loss of rats injured by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). The beneficial effects of FLZ attributed to the elevation of dopaminergic neuron number, dopamine level and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) activity. Mechanistic study showed that FLZ protected TH activity and dopaminergic neurons through decreasing α-synuclein (α-Syn) expression and the interaction between α-Syn and TH. Further studies indicated the involvement of phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway in the protective effect of FLZ since it showed that blocking PI3K/Akt signaling pathway prevented the expression of α-Syn and attenuated the neuroprotection of FLZ. In addition, FLZ treatment reduced the expression of RTP801, an important protein involved in the pathogenesis of PD. Taken together, these results revealed that FLZ suppressed α-Syn expression and elevated TH activity in dopaminergic neuron through activating Akt survival pathway in 6-OHDA-induced PD models. The data also provided evidence that FLZ had potent neuroprotecive effects and might become a new promising agent for PD treatment.

  13. Mesenchymal stem cell transplantation attenuates blood brain barrier damage and neuroinflammation and protects dopaminergic neurons against MPTP toxicity in the substantia nigra in a model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Chao, Yin Xia; He, Bei Ping; Tay, Samuel Sam Wah

    2009-11-30

    Immunomodulatory effects of transplanted mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the treatment of Parkinson's disease were studied in the MPTP-induced mouse model. MPTP treatment induced a significant loss of dopaminergic neurons, decreased expressions of claudin 1, claudin 5 and occludin in the substantia nigra compacta (SNc), and functional damage of the blood brain barrier (BBB). Our study further discovered that infiltration of MBLs into the brain to bind with microglia was detected in the SNc of MPTP-treated mice, suggesting that the BBB compromise and MBL infiltration might be involved in the pathogenesis of MPTP-induced PD. In addition, MPTP treatment also increased the expression of mannose-binding lectins (MBLs) in the liver tissue. Intravenous transplantation of MSCs into MPTP-treated mice led to recovery of BBB integrity, suppression of MBL infiltration at SNc and MBL expression in the liver, suppression of microglial activation and prevention of dopaminergic neuron death. No transplanted MSCs were observed to differentiate into dopaminergic neurons, while the MSCs migrated into the SNc and released TGF-beta1 there. Therefore, intravenous transplantation of MSCs which protect dopaminergic neurons from MPTP toxicity may be engaged in anyone or a combination of these mechanisms: repair of the BBB, reduction of MBL in the brain, inhibition of microglial cytotoxicity, and direct protection of dopaminergic neurons.

  14. Odour enrichment increases adult-born dopaminergic neurons in the mouse olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Bonzano, Sara; Bovetti, Serena; Fasolo, Aldo; Peretto, Paolo; De Marchis, Silvia

    2014-11-01

    The olfactory bulb (OB) is the first brain region involved in the processing of olfactory information. In adult mice, the OB is highly plastic, undergoing cellular/molecular dynamic changes that are modulated by sensory experience. Odour deprivation induces down-regulation of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expression in OB dopaminergic interneurons located in the glomerular layer (GL), resulting in decreased dopamine in the OB. Although the effect of sensory deprivation is well established, little is known about the influence of odour enrichment on dopaminergic cells. Here we report that prolonged odour enrichment on C57BL/6J strain mice selectively increases TH-immunopositive cells in the GL by nearly 20%. Following odour enrichment on TH-green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic mice, in which GFP identified both mature TH-positive cells and putative immature dopaminergic cells expressing TH mRNA but not TH protein, we found a similar 20% increase in GFP-expressing cells, with no changes in the ratio between TH-positive and TH-negative cells. These data suggest that enriched conditions induce an expansion in the whole dopaminergic lineage. Accordingly, by using 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine injections to label adult-generated cells in the GL of TH-GFP mice, we found an increase in the percentage of 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine-positive dopaminergic cells in enriched compared with control conditions, whereas no differences were found for calretinin- and calbindin-positive subtypes. Strikingly, the fraction of newborn cells among the dopaminergic population doubled in enriched conditions. On the whole, our results demonstrate that odour enrichment drives increased integration of adult-generated dopaminergic cells that could be critical to adapt the OB circuits to the environmental incoming information.

  15. Transcription factor Six2 mediates the protection of GDNF on 6-OHDA lesioned dopaminergic neurons by regulating Smurf1 expression

    PubMed Central

    Gao, J; Kang, X-y; Sun, S; Li, L; Zhang, B-l; Li, Y-q; Gao, D-s

    2016-01-01

    Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) has strong neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects on dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra (SN); however, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain to be fully elucidated. In this study, we found that the expression level of transcription factor Six2 was increased in damaged DA neurons after GDNF rescue in vivo and in vitro. Knockdown of Six2 resulted in decreased cell viability and increased the apoptosis of damaged DA neurons after GDNF treatment in vitro. In contrast, Six2 overexpression increased cell viability and decreased cell apoptosis. Furthermore, genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) indicated that Six2 directly bound to the promoter CAGCTG sequence of smad ubiquitylation regulatory factor 1 (Smurf1). ChIP-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis showed that Smurf1 expression was significantly upregulated after GDNF rescue. Moreover, knockdown of Six2 decreased Smurf1 expression, whereas overexpression of Six2 increased Smurf1 expression in damaged DA neurons after GDNF rescue. Meanwhile, knockdown and overexpression of Smurf1 increased and decreased p53 expression, respectively. Taken together, our results from in vitro and in vivo analysis indicate that Six2 mediates the protective effects of GDNF on damaged DA neurons by regulating Smurf1 expression, which could be useful in identifying potential drug targets for injured DA neurons. PMID:27148690

  16. Dopamine synapse is a neuroligin-2-mediated contact between dopaminergic presynaptic and GABAergic postsynaptic structures.

    PubMed

    Uchigashima, Motokazu; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa; Kobayashi, Kazuto; Watanabe, Masahiko

    2016-04-12

    Midbrain dopamine neurons project densely to the striatum and form so-called dopamine synapses on medium spiny neurons (MSNs), principal neurons in the striatum. Because dopamine receptors are widely expressed away from dopamine synapses, it remains unclear how dopamine synapses are involved in dopaminergic transmission. Here we demonstrate that dopamine synapses are contacts formed between dopaminergic presynaptic and GABAergic postsynaptic structures. The presynaptic structure expressed tyrosine hydroxylase, vesicular monoamine transporter-2, and plasmalemmal dopamine transporter, which are essential for dopamine synthesis, vesicular filling, and recycling, but was below the detection threshold for molecules involving GABA synthesis and vesicular filling or for GABA itself. In contrast, the postsynaptic structure of dopamine synapses expressed GABAergic molecules, including postsynaptic adhesion molecule neuroligin-2, postsynaptic scaffolding molecule gephyrin, and GABAA receptor α1, without any specific clustering of dopamine receptors. Of these, neuroligin-2 promoted presynaptic differentiation in axons of midbrain dopamine neurons and striatal GABAergic neurons in culture. After neuroligin-2 knockdown in the striatum, a significant decrease of dopamine synapses coupled with a reciprocal increase of GABAergic synapses was observed on MSN dendrites. This finding suggests that neuroligin-2 controls striatal synapse formation by giving competitive advantage to heterologous dopamine synapses over conventional GABAergic synapses. Considering that MSN dendrites are preferential targets of dopamine synapses and express high levels of dopamine receptors, dopamine synapse formation may serve to increase the specificity and potency of dopaminergic modulation of striatal outputs by anchoring dopamine release sites to dopamine-sensing targets.

  17. Suppression and facilitation of auditory neurons through coordinated acoustic and midbrain stimulation: investigating a deep brain stimulator for tinnitus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Offutt, Sarah J.; Ryan, Kellie J.; Konop, Alexander E.; Lim, Hubert H.

    2014-12-01

    Objective. The inferior colliculus (IC) is the primary processing center of auditory information in the midbrain and is one site of tinnitus-related activity. One potential option for suppressing the tinnitus percept is through deep brain stimulation via the auditory midbrain implant (AMI), which is designed for hearing restoration and is already being implanted in deaf patients who also have tinnitus. However, to assess the feasibility of AMI stimulation for tinnitus treatment we first need to characterize the functional connectivity within the IC. Previous studies have suggested modulatory projections from the dorsal cortex of the IC (ICD) to the central nucleus of the IC (ICC), though the functional properties of these projections need to be determined. Approach. In this study, we investigated the effects of electrical stimulation of the ICD on acoustic-driven activity within the ICC in ketamine-anesthetized guinea pigs. Main Results. We observed ICD stimulation induces both suppressive and facilitatory changes across ICC that can occur immediately during stimulation and remain after stimulation. Additionally, ICD stimulation paired with broadband noise stimulation at a specific delay can induce greater suppressive than facilitatory effects, especially when stimulating in more rostral and medial ICD locations. Significance. These findings demonstrate that ICD stimulation can induce specific types of plastic changes in ICC activity, which may be relevant for treating tinnitus. By using the AMI with electrode sites positioned with the ICD and the ICC, the modulatory effects of ICD stimulation can be tested directly in tinnitus patients.

  18. Drosophila divalent metal ion transporter Malvolio is required in dopaminergic neurons for feeding decisions.

    PubMed

    Søvik, E; LaMora, A; Seehra, G; Barron, A B; Duncan, J G; Ben-Shahar, Y

    2017-02-21

    Members of the natural resistance-associated macrophage protein (NRAMP) family are evolutionarily conserved metal ion transporters that play an essential role in regulating intracellular divalent cation homeostasis in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Malvolio (Mvl), the sole NRAMP family member in insects, plays a role in food choice behaviors in Drosophila and other species. However, the specific physiological and cellular processes that require the action of Mvl for appropriate feeding decisions remain elusive. Here, we show that normal food choice requires Mvl function specifically in the dopaminergic system, and can be rescued by supplementing food with manganese. Collectively, our data indicate that the action of the Mvl transporter affects food choice behavior via the regulation of dopaminergic innervation of the mushroom bodies, a principle brain region associated with decision-making in insects. Our studies suggest that the homeostatic regulation of the intraneuronal levels of divalent cations plays an important role in the development and function of the dopaminergic system and associated behaviors.

  19. Impact of circadian nuclear receptor REV-ERBα on midbrain dopamine production and mood regulation.

    PubMed

    Chung, Sooyoung; Lee, Eun Jeong; Yun, Seongsik; Choe, Han Kyoung; Park, Seong-Beom; Son, Hyo Jin; Kim, Kwang-Soo; Dluzen, Dean E; Lee, Inah; Hwang, Onyou; Son, Gi Hoon; Kim, Kyungjin

    2014-05-08

    The circadian nature of mood and its dysfunction in affective disorders is well recognized, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are still unclear. Here, we show that the circadian nuclear receptor REV-ERBα, which is associated with bipolar disorder, impacts midbrain dopamine production and mood-related behavior in mice. Genetic deletion of the Rev-erbα gene or pharmacological inhibition of REV-ERBα activity in the ventral midbrain induced mania-like behavior in association with a central hyperdopaminergic state. Also, REV-ERBα repressed tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) gene transcription via competition with nuclear receptor-related 1 protein (NURR1), another nuclear receptor crucial for dopaminergic neuronal function, thereby driving circadian TH expression through a target-dependent antagonistic mechanism. In conclusion, we identified a molecular connection between the circadian timing system and mood regulation, suggesting that REV-ERBα could be targeting in the treatment of circadian rhythm-related affective disorders.

  20. Dopaminergic Input to the Inferior Colliculus in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Nevue, Alexander A.; Elde, Cameron J.; Perkel, David J.; Portfors, Christine V.

    2016-01-01

    The response of sensory neurons to stimuli can be modulated by a variety of factors including attention, emotion, behavioral context, and disorders involving neuromodulatory systems. For example, patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) have disordered speech processing, suggesting that dopamine alters normal representation of these salient sounds. Understanding the mechanisms by which dopamine modulates auditory processing is thus an important goal. The principal auditory midbrain nucleus, the inferior colliculus (IC), is a likely location for dopaminergic modulation of auditory processing because it contains dopamine receptors and nerve terminals immunoreactive for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine synthesis. However, the sources of dopaminergic input to the IC are unknown. In this study, we iontophoretically injected a retrograde tracer into the IC of mice and then stained the tissue for TH. We also immunostained for dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH), an enzyme critical for the conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine, to differentiate between dopaminergic and noradrenergic inputs. Retrogradely labeled neurons that were positive for TH were seen bilaterally, with strong ipsilateral dominance, in the subparafascicular thalamic nucleus (SPF). All retrogradely labeled neurons that we observed in other brain regions were TH-negative. Projections from the SPF were confirmed using an anterograde tracer, revealing TH-positive and DBH-negative anterogradely labeled fibers and terminals in the IC. While the functional role of this dopaminergic input to the IC is not yet known, it provides a potential mechanism for context dependent modulation of auditory processing. PMID:26834578

  1. Doping the Mind: Dopaminergic Modulation of Prefrontal Cortical Cognition.

    PubMed

    Ranganath, Ajit; Jacob, Simon N

    2016-12-01

    The prefrontal cortex is the center of cognitive control. Processing in prefrontal cortical circuits enables us to direct attention to behaviorally relevant events; to memorize, structure, and categorize information; and to learn new concepts. The prefrontal cortex receives strong projections from midbrain neurons that use dopamine as a transmitter. In this article, we review the crucial role dopamine plays as a modulator of prefrontal cognitive functions, in the primate brain in particular. Following a summary of the anatomy and physiology of the midbrain dopamine system, we focus on recent studies that investigated dopaminergic effects in prefrontal cortex at the cellular level. We then discuss how unregulated prefrontal dopamine signaling could contribute to major disorders of cognition. The studies highlighted in this review demonstrate the powerful influence dopamine exerts on the mind.

  2. Selective destruction of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons does not alter [3H]-ryanodine binding in rat striatum.

    PubMed

    Noël, F; Geurts, M; Maloteaux, J M

    2000-02-01

    Dopamine nigrostriatal neurons are important for motor control and may contain a particularly dense population of ryanodine receptors involved in the control of dopamine release. To test this hypothesis, we used a classical model of unilateral selective lesion of these neurons in rats based on 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) injection into the substantia nigra. Binding of [3H]-GBR 12935, used as a presynaptic marker since it labels specifically the dopamine uptake complex, was dramatically decreased by 83-100% in striatum homogenates after 6-OHDA lesion. On the contrary, no reduction of [3H]-ryanodine binding was observed. The present data indicate that [3H]-ryanodine binding sites present in rat striatum are not preferentially localized in dopaminergic terminals.

  3. The Neuroprotective Mechanism of Low-Frequency rTMS on Nigral Dopaminergic Neurons of Parkinson's Disease Model Mice.

    PubMed

    Dong, Qiaoyun; Wang, Yanyong; Gu, Ping; Shao, Rusheng; Zhao, Li; Liu, Xiqi; Wang, Zhanqiang; Wang, Mingwei

    2015-01-01

    Background. Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disease in elder people, pathophysiologic basis of which is the severe deficiency of dopamine in the striatum. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the neuroprotective effect of low-frequency rTMS on Parkinson's disease in model mice. Methods. The effects of low-frequency rTMS on the motor function, cortex excitability, neurochemistry, and neurohistopathology of MPTP-induced Parkinson's disease mice were investigated through behavioral detection, electrophysiologic technique, high performance liquid chromatography-electrochemical detection, immunohistochemical staining, and western blot. Results. Low-frequency rTMS could improve the motor coordination impairment of Parkinson's disease mice: the resting motor threshold significantly decreased in the Parkinson's disease mice; the degeneration of nigral dopaminergic neuron and the expression of tyrosine hydroxylase were significantly improved by low-frequency rTMS; moreover, the expressions of brain derived neurotrophic factor and glial cell line derived neurotrophic factor were also improved by low-frequency rTMS. Conclusions. Low-frequency rTMS had a neuroprotective effect on the nigral dopaminergic neuron which might be due to the improved expressions of brain derived neurotrophic factor and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor. The present study provided a theoretical basis for the application of low-frequency rTMS in the clinical treatment and recovery of Parkinson's disease.

  4. The Neuroprotective Mechanism of Low-Frequency rTMS on Nigral Dopaminergic Neurons of Parkinson's Disease Model Mice

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Qiaoyun; Wang, Yanyong; Gu, Ping; Shao, Rusheng; Zhao, Li; Liu, Xiqi; Wang, Zhanqiang; Wang, Mingwei

    2015-01-01

    Background. Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disease in elder people, pathophysiologic basis of which is the severe deficiency of dopamine in the striatum. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the neuroprotective effect of low-frequency rTMS on Parkinson's disease in model mice. Methods. The effects of low-frequency rTMS on the motor function, cortex excitability, neurochemistry, and neurohistopathology of MPTP-induced Parkinson's disease mice were investigated through behavioral detection, electrophysiologic technique, high performance liquid chromatography-electrochemical detection, immunohistochemical staining, and western blot. Results. Low-frequency rTMS could improve the motor coordination impairment of Parkinson's disease mice: the resting motor threshold significantly decreased in the Parkinson's disease mice; the degeneration of nigral dopaminergic neuron and the expression of tyrosine hydroxylase were significantly improved by low-frequency rTMS; moreover, the expressions of brain derived neurotrophic factor and glial cell line derived neurotrophic factor were also improved by low-frequency rTMS. Conclusions. Low-frequency rTMS had a neuroprotective effect on the nigral dopaminergic neuron which might be due to the improved expressions of brain derived neurotrophic factor and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor. The present study provided a theoretical basis for the application of low-frequency rTMS in the clinical treatment and recovery of Parkinson's disease. PMID:25883828

  5. Effects of Nano-MnO2 on Dopaminergic Neurons and the Spatial Learning Capability of Rats

    PubMed Central

    Li, Tao; Shi, Tingting; Li, Xiaobo; Zeng, Shuilin; Yin, Lihong; Pu, Yuepu

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed to observe the effect of intracerebrally injected nano-MnO2 on neurobehavior and the functions of dopaminergic neurons and astrocytes. Nano-MnO2, 6-OHDA, and saline (control) were injected in the substantia nigra and the ventral tegmental area of Sprague-Dawley rat brains. The neurobehavior of rats was evaluated by Morris water maze test. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expressions in rat brain were detected by immunohistochemistry. Results showed that the escape latencies of nano-MnO2 treated rat increased significantly compared with control. The number of TH-positive cells decreased, GFAP- and iNOS-positive cells increased significantly in the lesion side of the rat brains compared with the contralateral area in nano-MnO2 group. The same tendencies were observed in nano-MnO2-injected rat brains compared with control. However, in the the positive control, 6-OHDA group, escape latencies increased, TH-positive cell number decreased significantly compared with nano-MnO2 group. The alteration of spatial learning abilities of rats induced by nano-MnO2 may be associated with dopaminergic neuronal dysfunction and astrocyte activation. PMID:25101772

  6. Associated degeneration of ventral tegmental area dopaminergic neurons in the rat nigrostriatal lactacystin model of parkinsonism and their neuroprotection by valproate

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, Ian F.; Anis, Hiba K.; Dexter, David T.

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) manifests clinically as bradykinesia, rigidity, and development of a resting tremor, primarily due to degeneration of dopaminergic nigrostriatal pathways in the brain. Intranigral administration of the irreversible ubiquitin proteasome system inhibitor, lactacystin, has been used extensively to model nigrostriatal degeneration in rats, and study the effects of candidate neuroprotective agents on the integrity of the dopaminergic nigrostriatal system. Recently however, adjacent extra-nigral brain regions such as the ventral tegmental area (VTA) have been noted to also become affected in this model, yet their integrity in studies of candidate neuroprotective agents in the model have largely been overlooked. Here we quantify the extent and distribution of dopaminergic degeneration in the VTA of rats intranigrally lesioned with lactacystin, and quantify the extent of VTA dopaminergic neuroprotection after systemic treatment with an epigenetic therapeutic agent, valproate, shown previously to protect dopaminergic SNpc neurons in this model. We found that unilateral intranigral administration of lactacystin resulted in a 53.81% and 31.72% interhemispheric loss of dopaminergic SNpc and VTA neurons, respectively. Daily systemic treatment of lactacystin lesioned rats with valproate however resulted in dose-dependant neuroprotection of VTA neurons. Our findings demonstrate that not only is the VTA also affected in the intranigral lactacystin rat model of PD, but that this extra-nigral brain region is substrate for neuroprotection by valproate, an agent shown previously to induce neuroprotection and neurorestoration of SNpc dopaminergic neurons in this model. Our results therefore suggest that valproate is a candidate for extra-nigral as well as intra-nigral neuroprotection. PMID:26742637

  7. Associated degeneration of ventral tegmental area dopaminergic neurons in the rat nigrostriatal lactacystin model of parkinsonism and their neuroprotection by valproate.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Ian F; Anis, Hiba K; Dexter, David T

    2016-02-12

    Parkinson's disease (PD) manifests clinically as bradykinesia, rigidity, and development of a resting tremor, primarily due to degeneration of dopaminergic nigrostriatal pathways in the brain. Intranigral administration of the irreversible ubiquitin proteasome system inhibitor, lactacystin, has been used extensively to model nigrostriatal degeneration in rats, and study the effects of candidate neuroprotective agents on the integrity of the dopaminergic nigrostriatal system. Recently however, adjacent extra-nigral brain regions such as the ventral tegmental area (VTA) have been noted to also become affected in this model, yet their integrity in studies of candidate neuroprotective agents in the model have largely been overlooked. Here we quantify the extent and distribution of dopaminergic degeneration in the VTA of rats intranigrally lesioned with lactacystin, and quantify the extent of VTA dopaminergic neuroprotection after systemic treatment with an epigenetic therapeutic agent, valproate, shown previously to protect dopaminergic SNpc neurons in this model. We found that unilateral intranigral administration of lactacystin resulted in a 53.81% and 31.72% interhemispheric loss of dopaminergic SNpc and VTA neurons, respectively. Daily systemic treatment of lactacystin lesioned rats with valproate however resulted in dose-dependant neuroprotection of VTA neurons. Our findings demonstrate that not only is the VTA also affected in the intranigral lactacystin rat model of PD, but that this extra-nigral brain region is substrate for neuroprotection by valproate, an agent shown previously to induce neuroprotection and neurorestoration of SNpc dopaminergic neurons in this model. Our results therefore suggest that valproate is a candidate for extra-nigral as well as intra-nigral neuroprotection.

  8. Th17 Cells Induce Dopaminergic Neuronal Death via LFA-1/ICAM-1 Interaction in a Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhan; Huang, Yan; Cao, Bei-Bei; Qiu, Yi-Hua; Peng, Yu-Ping

    2016-11-14

    T helper (Th)17 cells, a subset of CD4(+) T lymphocytes, have strong pro-inflammatory property and appear to be essential in the pathogenesis of many inflammatory diseases. However, the involvement of Th17 cells in Parkinson's disease (PD) that is characterized by a progressive degeneration of dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons in the nigrostriatal system is unclear. Here, we aimed to demonstrate that Th17 cells infiltrate into the brain parenchyma and induce neuroinflammation and DAergic neuronal death in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)- or 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP(+))-induced PD models. Blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption in the substantia nigra (SN) was assessed by the signal of FITC-labeled albumin that was injected into blood circulation via the ascending aorta. Live cell imaging system was used to observe a direct contact of Th17 cells with neurons by staining these cells using the two adhesion molecules, leukocyte function-associated antigen (LFA)-1 and intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, respectively. Th17 cells invaded into the SN where BBB was disrupted in MPTP-induced PD mice. Th17 cells exacerbated DAergic neuronal loss and pro-inflammatory/neurotrophic factor disorders in MPP(+)-treated ventral mesencephalic (VM) cell cultures. A direct contact of LFA-1-stained Th17 cells with ICAM-1-stained VM neurons was dynamically captured. Either blocking LFA-1 in Th17 cells or blocking ICAM-1 in VM neurons with neutralizing antibodies abolished Th17-induced DAergic neuronal death. These results establish that Th17 cells infiltrate into the brain parenchyma of PD mice through lesioned BBB and exert neurotoxic property by promoting glial activation and importantly by a direct damage to neurons depending on LFA-1/ICAM-1 interaction.

  9. Tualang Honey Protects the Rat Midbrain and Lung against Repeated Paraquat Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Sulaiman, Siti Amrah

    2017-01-01

    Paraquat (PQ) is a dopaminergic neurotoxin and a well-known pneumotoxicant that exerts its toxic effect via oxidative stress-mediated cellular injuries. This study investigated the protective effects of Tualang honey against PQ-induced toxicity in the midbrain and lungs of rats. The rats were orally treated with distilled water (2 mL/kg/day), Tualang honey (1.0 g/kg/day), or ubiquinol (0.2 g/kg/day) throughout the experimental period. Two weeks after the respective treatments, the rats were injected intraperitoneally with saline (1 mL/kg/week) or PQ (10 mg/kg/week) once per week for four consecutive weeks. After four weekly exposures to PQ, the glutathione peroxidase activity and the number of tyrosine-hydroxylase immunopositive neurons in the midbrain were significantly decreased in animals from group PQ (p < 0.05). The lungs of animals from group PQ showed significantly decreased activity of superoxide dismutase and glutathione-S-transferase. Treatment with Tualang honey ameliorated the toxic effects observed in the midbrain and lungs. The beneficial effects of Tualang honey were comparable to those of ubiquinol, which was used as a positive control. These findings suggest that treatment with Tualang honey may protect against PQ-induced toxicity in the rat midbrain and lung. PMID:28127418

  10. Tualang Honey Protects the Rat Midbrain and Lung against Repeated Paraquat Exposure.

    PubMed

    Tang, Suk Peng; Kuttulebbai Nainamohamed Salam, Sirajudeen; Jaafar, Hasnan; Gan, Siew Hua; Muzaimi, Mustapha; Sulaiman, Siti Amrah

    2017-01-01

    Paraquat (PQ) is a dopaminergic neurotoxin and a well-known pneumotoxicant that exerts its toxic effect via oxidative stress-mediated cellular injuries. This study investigated the protective effects of Tualang honey against PQ-induced toxicity in the midbrain and lungs of rats. The rats were orally treated with distilled water (2 mL/kg/day), Tualang honey (1.0 g/kg/day), or ubiquinol (0.2 g/kg/day) throughout the experimental period. Two weeks after the respective treatments, the rats were injected intraperitoneally with saline (1 mL/kg/week) or PQ (10 mg/kg/week) once per week for four consecutive weeks. After four weekly exposures to PQ, the glutathione peroxidase activity and the number of tyrosine-hydroxylase immunopositive neurons in the midbrain were significantly decreased in animals from group PQ (p < 0.05). The lungs of animals from group PQ showed significantly decreased activity of superoxide dismutase and glutathione-S-transferase. Treatment with Tualang honey ameliorated the toxic effects observed in the midbrain and lungs. The beneficial effects of Tualang honey were comparable to those of ubiquinol, which was used as a positive control. These findings suggest that treatment with Tualang honey may protect against PQ-induced toxicity in the rat midbrain and lung.

  11. Prolactin induces tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic neurone differentiation in Snell dwarf mice if administered beginning at 3 days of age.

    PubMed

    Khodr, C E; Hurley, D L; Phelps, C J

    2009-06-01

    The hypothalamic tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic (TIDA) neurones secrete dopamine, which inhibits prolactin secretion. TIDA neurone numbers are deficient in Ames (df/df) and Snell (dw/dw) dwarf mice, which lack prolactin, growth hormone and thyroid-stimulating hormone. Prolactin therapy initiated before 21 days maintains normal-sized TIDA neurone numbers in df/df mice and, when initiated as early as 7 days, maintains the maximum TIDA neurone numbers observed in dw/dw development, which are decreased compared to those in normal mice. The present study investigated the effect of prolactin dose and species on TIDA neurone development. Snell dwarf and normal mice were treated with saline, 5 microg of ovine prolactin (oPRL), 50 microg of oPRL, or 50 microg of recombinant mouse prolactin (rmPRL) beginning at 3 days of age. Brains were analysed at 45 days using catecholamine histofluorescence, and immunohistochemistry for tyrosine hydroxylase or bromodeoxyuridine. Normal mice had greater (P neurones than dw/dw, regardless of treatment. TIDA neurones in 50 microg oPRL-treated dw/dw mice were greater (P neurone numbers than the maximum numbers observed in untreated dw/dw mice development. Among saline, 5 microg oPRL and 50 microg oPRL treatments, but not rmPRL, A14 neurone numbers were higher (P neurone recruitment was investigated using bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) treatment at intervals after 21 days. Mice treated with rmPRL, but not oPRL, had increased BrdU incorporation in the periventricular area surrounding the third ventricle and median eminence and in the arcuate nucleus. The data obtained in the present study indicate that oPRL, but not rmPRL, when given at a high enough

  12. 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

  13. Vanillin Protects Dopaminergic Neurons against Inflammation-Mediated Cell Death by Inhibiting ERK1/2, P38 and the NF-κB Signaling Pathway.

    PubMed

    Yan, Xuan; Liu, Dian-Feng; Zhang, Xiang-Yang; Liu, Dong; Xu, Shi-Yao; Chen, Guang-Xin; Huang, Bing-Xu; Ren, Wen-Zhi; Wang, Wei; Fu, Shou-Peng; Liu, Ju-Xiong

    2017-02-12

    Neuroinflammation plays a very important role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). After activation, microglia produce pro-inflammatory mediators that damage surrounding neurons. Consequently, the inhibition of microglial activation might represent a new therapeutic approach of PD. Vanillin has been shown to protect dopaminergic neurons, but the mechanism is still unclear. Herein, we further study the underlying mechanisms in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced PD models. In vivo, we firstly established rat models of PD by unilateral injection of LPS into substantia nigra (SN), and then examined the role of vanillin in motor dysfunction, microglial activation and degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. In vitro, murine microglial BV-2 cells were treated with vanillin prior to the incubation of LPS, and then the inflammatory responses and the related signaling pathways were analyzed. The in vivo results showed that vanillin markedly improved the motor dysfunction, suppressed degeneration of dopaminergic neurons and inhibited microglial over-activation induced by LPS intranigral injection. The in vitro studies demonstrated that vanillin reduces LPS-induced expression of inducible nitric oxide (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), IL-1β, and IL-6 through regulating ERK1/2, p38 and NF-κB signaling. Collectively, these data indicated that vanillin has a role in protecting dopaminergic neurons via inhibiting inflammatory activation.

  14. Vanillin Protects Dopaminergic Neurons against Inflammation-Mediated Cell Death by Inhibiting ERK1/2, P38 and the NF-κB Signaling Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Xuan; Liu, Dian-Feng; Zhang, Xiang-Yang; Liu, Dong; Xu, Shi-Yao; Chen, Guang-Xin; Huang, Bing-Xu; Ren, Wen-Zhi; Wang, Wei; Fu, Shou-Peng; Liu, Ju-Xiong

    2017-01-01

    Neuroinflammation plays a very important role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD). After activation, microglia produce pro-inflammatory mediators that damage surrounding neurons. Consequently, the inhibition of microglial activation might represent a new therapeutic approach of PD. Vanillin has been shown to protect dopaminergic neurons, but the mechanism is still unclear. Herein, we further study the underlying mechanisms in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced PD models. In vivo, we firstly established rat models of PD by unilateral injection of LPS into substantia nigra (SN), and then examined the role of vanillin in motor dysfunction, microglial activation and degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. In vitro, murine microglial BV-2 cells were treated with vanillin prior to the incubation of LPS, and then the inflammatory responses and the related signaling pathways were analyzed. The in vivo results showed that vanillin markedly improved the motor dysfunction, suppressed degeneration of dopaminergic neurons and inhibited microglial over-activation induced by LPS intranigral injection. The in vitro studies demonstrated that vanillin reduces LPS-induced expression of inducible nitric oxide (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), IL-1β, and IL-6 through regulating ERK1/2, p38 and NF-κB signaling. Collectively, these data indicated that vanillin has a role in protecting dopaminergic neurons via inhibiting inflammatory activation. PMID:28208679

  15. Genetic Feedback Regulation of Frontal Cortical Neuronal Ensembles Through Activity-Dependent Arc Expression and Dopaminergic Input

    PubMed Central

    Mastwal, Surjeet; Cao, Vania; Wang, Kuan Hong

    2016-01-01

    Mental functions involve coordinated activities of specific neuronal ensembles that are embedded in complex brain circuits. Aberrant neuronal ensemble dynamics is thought to form the neurobiological basis of mental disorders. A major challenge in mental health research is to identify these cellular ensembles and determine what molecular mechanisms constrain their emergence and consolidation during development and learning. Here, we provide a perspective based on recent studies that use activity-dependent gene Arc/Arg3.1 as a cellular marker to identify neuronal ensembles and a molecular probe to modulate circuit functions. These studies have demonstrated that the transcription of Arc is activated in selective groups of frontal cortical neurons in response to specific behavioral tasks. Arc expression regulates the persistent firing of individual neurons and predicts the consolidation of neuronal ensembles during repeated learning. Therefore, the Arc pathway represents a prototypical example of activity-dependent genetic feedback regulation of neuronal ensembles. The activation of this pathway in the frontal cortex starts during early postnatal development and requires dopaminergic (DA) input. Conversely, genetic disruption of Arc leads to a hypoactive mesofrontal dopamine circuit and its related cognitive deficit. This mutual interaction suggests an auto-regulatory mechanism to amplify the impact of neuromodulators and activity-regulated genes during postnatal development. Such a mechanism may contribute to the association of mutations in dopamine and Arc pathways with neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorders. As the mesofrontal dopamine circuit shows extensive activity-dependent developmental plasticity, activity-guided modulation of DA projections or Arc ensembles during development may help to repair circuit deficits related to neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:27999532

  16. Genetic Feedback Regulation of Frontal Cortical Neuronal Ensembles Through Activity-Dependent Arc Expression and Dopaminergic Input.

    PubMed

    Mastwal, Surjeet; Cao, Vania; Wang, Kuan Hong

    2016-01-01

    Mental functions involve coordinated activities of specific neuronal ensembles that are embedded in complex brain circuits. Aberrant neuronal ensemble dynamics is thought to form the neurobiological basis of mental disorders. A major challenge in mental health research is to identify these cellular ensembles and determine what molecular mechanisms constrain their emergence and consolidation during development and learning. Here, we provide a perspective based on recent studies that use activity-dependent gene Arc/Arg3.1 as a cellular marker to identify neuronal ensembles and a molecular probe to modulate circuit functions. These studies have demonstrated that the transcription of Arc is activated in selective groups of frontal cortical neurons in response to specific behavioral tasks. Arc expression regulates the persistent firing of individual neurons and predicts the consolidation of neuronal ensembles during repeated learning. Therefore, the Arc pathway represents a prototypical example of activity-dependent genetic feedback regulation of neuronal ensembles. The activation of this pathway in the frontal cortex starts during early postnatal development and requires dopaminergic (DA) input. Conversely, genetic disruption of Arc leads to a hypoactive mesofrontal dopamine circuit and its related cognitive deficit. This mutual interaction suggests an auto-regulatory mechanism to amplify the impact of neuromodulators and activity-regulated genes during postnatal development. Such a mechanism may contribute to the association of mutations in dopamine and Arc pathways with neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorders. As the mesofrontal dopamine circuit shows extensive activity-dependent developmental plasticity, activity-guided modulation of DA projections or Arc ensembles during development may help to repair circuit deficits related to neuropsychiatric disorders.

  17. Nesfatin-1 protects dopaminergic neurons against MPP+/MPTP-induced neurotoxicity through the C-Raf–ERK1/2-dependent anti-apoptotic pathway

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Xiao-Li; Song, Ning; Du, Xi-Xun; Li, Yong; Xie, Jun-Xia; Jiang, Hong

    2017-01-01

    Several brain-gut peptides have been reported to have a close relationship with the central dopaminergic system; one such brain-gut peptide is nesfatin-1. Nesfatin-1 is a satiety peptide that is predominantly secreted by X/A-like endocrine cells in the gastric glands, where ghrelin is also secreted. We previously reported that ghrelin exerted neuroprotective effects on nigral dopaminergic neurons, which implied a role for ghrelin in Parkinson’s disease (PD). In the present study, we aim to clarify whether nesfatin-1 has similar effects on dopaminergic neurons both in vivo and in vitro. We show that nesfatin-1 attenuates the loss of nigral dopaminergic neurons in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced mouse model of PD. In addition, nesfatin-1 antagonized 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridillium ion (MPP+)-induced toxicity by restoring mitochondrial function, inhibiting cytochrome C release and preventing caspase-3 activation in MPP+-treated MES23.5 dopaminergic cells. These neuroprotective effects could be abolished by selective inhibition of C-Raf and the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2). Our data suggest that C-Raf-ERK1/2, which is involved in an anti-apoptotic pathway, is responsible for the neuroprotective effects of nesfatin-1 in the context of MPTP-induced toxicity. These results imply that nesfatin-1 might have therapeutic potential for PD. PMID:28106099

  18. Acupuncture prevents 6-hydroxydopamine-induced neuronal death in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system in the rat Parkinson's disease model.

    PubMed

    Park, Hi-Joon; Lim, Sabina; Joo, Wan-Seok; Yin, Chang-Shik; Lee, Hyang-Sook; Lee, Hye-Jung; Seo, Jung Chul; Leem, Kanghyun; Son, Yang-Sun; Kim, Youn-Jung; Kim, Chang-Ju; Kim, Yong-Sik; Chung, Joo-Ho

    2003-03-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder, and it has been suggested that treatments promoting survival and functional recovery of affected dopaminergic neurons could have a significant and long-term therapeutic value. In the present study, we investigated the neuroprotective effects of acupuncture on the nigrostriatal system in rat unilaterally lesioned with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA, 4 microg/microl, intrastriatal injection) using tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and receptor for brain-derived neurotrophic factor, trkB, immunohistochemistries. Two weeks after the lesions were made, rats presented with asymmetry in rotational behavior (118.3 +/- 17.5 turns/h) following injection with apomorphine, a dopamine receptor agonist (0.5 mg/kg, sc). In contrast, acupunctural treatment at acupoints GB34 and LI3 was shown to significantly reduce this motor deficit (14.6 +/- 13.4 turns/h). Analysis via TH immunohistochemistry revealed a substantial loss of cell bodies in the substantia nigra (SN) (45.7% loss) and their terminals in the dorsolateral striatum ipsilateral to the 6-OHDA-induced lesion. However, acupunctural treatment resulted in the enhanced survival of dopaminergic neurons in the SN (21.4% loss) and their terminals in the dorsolateral striatum. Acupuncture also increased the expression of trkB significantly (35.6% increase) in the ipsilateral SN. In conclusion, we observed that only acupuncturing without the use of any drug has the neuroprotective effects against neuronal death in the rat PD model and these protective properties of acupuncture could be mediated by trkB.

  19. Absence of glia maturation factor protects dopaminergic neurons and improves motor behavior in mouse model of parkinsonism.

    PubMed

    Khan, Mohammad Moshahid; Zaheer, Smita; Thangavel, Ramasamy; Patel, Margi; Kempuraj, Duraisamy; Zaheer, Asgar

    2015-05-01

    Previously, we have shown that aberrant expression of glia maturation factor (GMF), a proinflammatory protein, is associated with the neuropathological conditions underlying diseases suggesting an important role for GMF in neurodegeneration. In the present study, we demonstrate that absence of GMF suppresses dopaminergic (DA) neuron loss, glial activation, and expression of proinflammatory mediators in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SN) and striatum (STR) of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) treated mice. Dopaminergic neuron numbers in the SN and fiber densities in the STR were reduced in wild type (Wt) mice when compared with GMF-deficient (GMF-KO) mice after MPTP treatment. We compared the motor abnormalities caused by MPTP treatment in Wt and GMF-KO mice as measured by Rota rod and grip strength test. Results show that the deficits in motor coordination and decrease in dopamine and its metabolite content were protected significantly in GMF-KO mice after MPTP treatment when compared with control Wt mice under identical experimental conditions. These findings were further supported by the immunohistochemical analysis that showed reduced glial activation in the SN of MPTP-treated GMF-KO mice. Similarly, in MPTP-treated GMF-KO mice, production of inflammatory tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukine-1 beta, granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor, and the chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 MCP-1 was suppressed, findings consistent with a role for GMF in MPTP neurotoxicity. In conclusion, present investigation provides the first evidence that deficiency of GMF protects the DA neuron loss and reduces the inflammatory load following MPTP administration in mice. Thus depletion of endogenous GMF represents an effective and selective strategy to slow down the MPTP-induced neurodegeneration.

  20. Absence of glia maturation factor protects dopaminergic neurons and improves motor behavior in mouse model of Parkinsonism

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Mohammad Moshahid; Zaheer, Smita; Ramasamy, Thangavel; Patel, Margi; Kempuraj, Duraisamy; Zaheer, Asgar

    2015-01-01

    Previously, we have shown that aberrant expression of glia maturation factor (GMF), a proinflammatory protein, is associated with the neuropathological conditions underlying diseases suggesting an important role for GMF in neurodegeneration. In the present study, we demonstrate that absence of GMF suppresses dopaminergic (DA) neuron loss, glial activation, and expression of proinflammatory mediators in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SN) and striatum (STR) of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) treated mice. Dopaminergic neuron numbers in the SN and fiber densities in the STR were reduced in wild type (Wt) mice when compared with GMF-deficient (GMF-KO) mice after MPTP treatment. We compared the motor abnormalities caused by MPTP treatment in Wt and GMF-KO mice as measured by Rota rod and grip strength test. Results show that the deficits in motor coordination and decrease in dopamine and its metabolite content were protected significantly in GMF-KO mice after MPTP treatment when compared with control Wt mice under identical experimental conditions. These findings were further supported by the immunohistochemical analysis that showed reduced glial activation in the SN of MPTP-treated GMF-KO mice. Similarly, in MPTP-treated GMF-KO mice, production of inflammatory tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukine-1 beta (IL-1β), granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and the chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) MCP-1 was suppressed, findings consistent with a role for GMF in MPTP neurotoxicity. In conclusion, present investigation provides the first evidence that deficiency of GMF protects the DA neuron loss and reduces the inflammatory load following MPTP administration in mice. Thus depletion of endogenous GMF represents an effective and selective strategy to slow down the MPTP-induced neurodegeneration. PMID:25754447

  1. α-Synuclein propagates from mouse brain to grafted dopaminergic neurons and seeds aggregation in cultured human cells

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Christian; Angot, Elodie; Bergström, Ann-Louise; Steiner, Jennifer A.; Pieri, Laura; Paul, Gesine; Outeiro, Tiago F.; Melki, Ronald; Kallunki, Pekka; Fog, Karina; Li, Jia-Yi; Brundin, Patrik

    2011-01-01

    Post-mortem analyses of brains from patients with Parkinson disease who received fetal mesencephalic transplants show that α-synuclein–containing (α-syn–containing) Lewy bodies gradually appear in grafted neurons. Here, we explored whether intercellular transfer of α-syn from host to graft, followed by seeding of α-syn aggregation in recipient neurons, can contribute to this phenomenon. We assessed α-syn cell-to-cell transfer using microscopy, flow cytometry, and high-content screening in several coculture model systems. Coculturing cells engineered to express either GFP– or DsRed-tagged α-syn resulted in a gradual increase in double-labeled cells. Importantly, α-syn–GFP derived from 1 neuroblastoma cell line localized to red fluorescent aggregates in other cells expressing DsRed–α-syn, suggesting a seeding effect of transmitted α-syn. Extracellular α-syn was taken up by cells through endocytosis and interacted with intracellular α-syn. Next, following intracortical injection of recombinant α-syn in rats, we found neuronal uptake was attenuated by coinjection of an endocytosis inhibitor. Finally, we demonstrated in vivo transfer of α-syn between host cells and grafted dopaminergic neurons in mice overexpressing human α-syn. In summary, intercellularly transferred α-syn interacts with cytoplasmic α-syn and can propagate α-syn pathology. These results suggest that α-syn propagation is a key element in the progression of Parkinson disease pathology. PMID:21245577

  2. The Role of Dopaminergic Neurons in the Regulation of Pituitary Beta-endorphin Secretion

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-01-01

    stress-stimulated B-endorpbin release appears to dis inhibit prolactin secretion through its actions on hypothalamic dopaminergic mechanisms...which are known to be the primary inhibitory regulators of In prolactin secretion from the AL (MacLeod, 1976). addition to inhibiting prolactin release... inhibit prolactin secretion, the D2 agonist could not overcome blockade of those receptors which mediate AL release of iB-endorphin. LY141865 is

  3. Isoliquiritigenin isolated from licorice Glycyrrhiza uralensis prevents 6-hydroxydopamine-induced apoptosis in dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Cheol Kyu; Chun, Hong Sung

    2012-01-01

    Licorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis) is a medicinal herb containing various bioactive components implicated in antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and neuroprotective effects, but the effects of licorice against Parkinson's disease (PD)-related dopaminergic cell death have not been studied. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of isoliquiritigenin (ISL) isolated from Glycyrrhiza uralensis on 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced neurotoxicity in a dopaminergic cell line, SN4741. ISL (1 µM) significantly attenuated 6-OHDA (50 µM)-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO) generation and apoptotic cell death. ISL pretreatment effectively suppressed 6-OHDA-mediated upregulation of Bax, p-c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), p-p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase, cytochrome c release, and caspase 3 activation. In addition, ISL significantly attenuated 6-OHDA-induced Bcl-2, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) reduction. Pharmacological inhibitors of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt/protein kinase B (PKB) pathway reversed ISL-mediated neuroprotection against 6-OHDA toxicity in SN4741 cells. These results provide the first evidence that ISL can protect dopaminergic cells under oxidative stress conditions by regulating the apoptotic process.

  4. Gene Expression Profiling of Embryonic Human Neural Stem Cells and Dopaminergic Neurons from Adult Human Substantia Nigra

    PubMed Central

    Marei, Hany E. S.; Althani, Asma; Afifi, Nahla; Michetti, Fabrizio; Pescatori, Mario; Pallini, Roberto; Casalbore, Patricia; Cenciarelli, Carlo; Schwartz, Philip; Ahmed, Abd-Elmaksoud

    2011-01-01

    Neural stem cells (NSC) with self-renewal and multipotent properties serve as an ideal cell source for transplantation to treat neurodegenerative insults such as Parkinson's disease. We used Agilent's and Illumina Whole Human Genome Oligonucleotide Microarray to compare the genomic profiles of human embryonic NSC at a single time point in culture, and a multicellular tissue from postmortem adult substantia nigra (SN) which are rich in dopaminergic (DA) neurons. We identified 13525 up-regulated genes in both cell types of which 3737 (27.6%) genes were up-regulated in the hENSC, 4116 (30.4%) genes were up-regulated in the human substantia nigra dopaminergic cells, and 5672 (41.93%) were significantly up-regulated in both cell population. Careful analysis of the data that emerged using DAVID has permitted us to distinguish several genes and pathways that are involved in dopaminergic (DA) differentiation, and to identify the crucial signaling pathways that direct the process of differentiation. The set of genes expressed more highly at hENSC is enriched in molecules known or predicted to be involved in the M phase of the mitotic cell cycle. On the other hand, the genes enriched in SN cells include a different set of functional categories, namely synaptic transmission, central nervous system development, structural constituents of the myelin sheath, the internode region of axons, myelination, cell projection, cell somata, ion transport, and the voltage-gated ion channel complex. Our results were also compared with data from various databases, and between different types of arrays, Agilent versus Illumina. This approach has allowed us to confirm the consistency of our obtained results for a large number of genes that delineate the phenotypical differences of embryonic NSCs, and SN cells. PMID:22163301

  5. The pesticide rotenone induces caspase-3-mediated apoptosis in ventral mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Ahmadi, Ferogh A; Linseman, Daniel A; Grammatopoulos, Tom N; Jones, Susan M; Bouchard, Ron J; Freed, Curt R; Heidenreich, Kim A; Zawada, W Michael

    2003-11-01

    In vivo, the pesticide rotenone induces degeneration of dopamine neurons and parkinsonian-like pathology in adult rats. In the current study, we utilized primary ventral mesencephalic (VM) cultures from E15 rats as an in vitro model to examine the mechanism underlying rotenone-induced death of dopamine neurons. After 11 h of exposure to 30 nm rotenone, the number of dopamine neurons identified by tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunostaining declined rapidly with only 23% of the neurons surviving. By contrast, 73% of total cells survived rotenone treatment, indicating that TH+ neurons are more sensitive to rotenone. Examination of the role of apoptosis in TH+ neuron death, revealed that 10 and 30 nm rotenone significantly increased the number of apoptotic TH+ neurons from 7% under control conditions to 38 and 55%, respectively. The increase in apoptotic TH+ neurons correlated with an increase in immunoreactivity for active caspase-3 in TH+ neurons. The caspase-3 inhibitor, DEVD, rescued a significant number of TH+ neurons from rotenone-induced death. Furthermore, this protective effect lasted for at least 32 h post-rotenone and DEVD exposure, indicating lasting neuroprotection achieved with an intervention prior to the death commitment point. Our results show for the first time in primary dopamine neurons that, at low nanomolar concentrations, rotenone induces caspase-3-mediated apoptosis. Understanding the mechanism of rotenone-induced apoptosis in dopamine neurons may contribute to the development of new neuroprotective strategies against Parkinson's disease.

  6. CX3CR1 Disruption Differentially Influences Dopaminergic Neuron Degeneration in Parkinsonian Mice Depending on the Neurotoxin and Route of Administration.

    PubMed

    Tristão, Fabrine Sales Massafera; Lazzarini, Márcio; Martin, Sabine; Amar, Majid; Stühmer, Walter; Kirchhoff, Frank; Gomes, Lucas Araújo Caldi; Lanfumey, Laurance; Prediger, Rui D; Sepulveda, Julia E; Del-Bel, Elaine A; Raisman-Vozari, Rita

    2016-04-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons accompanied by an inflammatory reaction. The neuron-derived chemokine fractalkine (CX3CL1) is an exclusive ligand for the receptor CX3CR1 expressed on microglia. The CX3CL1/CX3CR1 signaling is important for sustaining microglial activity. Using a recently developed PD model, in which the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) toxin is delivered intranasally, we hypothesized that CX3CR1 could play a role in neurotoxicity and glial activation. For this, we used CX3CR1 knock-in mice and compared results with those obtained using the classical PD models through intraperitonal MPTP or intrastriatal 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). The striatum from all genotypes (CX3CR1(+/+), CX3CR1(+/GFP) and CX3CR1-deficient mice) showed a significant dopaminergic depletion after intranasal MPTP inoculation. In contrast to that, we could not see differences in the number of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra of CX3CR1-deficient animals. Similarly, after 6-OHDA infusion, the CX3CR1 deletion decreased the amphetamine-induced turning behavior observed in CX3CR1(+/GFP) mice. After the 6-OHDA inoculation, a minor dopaminergic neuronal loss was observed in the substantia nigra from CX3CR1-deficient mice. Distinctly, a more extensive neuronal cell loss was observed in the substantia nigra after the intraperitoneal MPTP injection in CX3CR1 disrupted animals, corroborating previous results. Intranasal and intraperitoneal MPTP inoculation induced a similar microgliosis in CX3CR1-deficient mice but a dissimilar change in the astrocyte proliferation in the substantia nigra. Nigral astrocyte proliferation was observed only after intraperitoneal MPTP inoculation. In conclusion, intranasal MPTP and 6-OHDA lesion in CX3CR1-deficient mice yield no nigral dopaminergic neuron loss, linked to the absence of astroglial proliferation.

  7. Insulin-like growth factor binding protein 5 (IGFBP5) mediates methamphetamine-induced dopaminergic neuron apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Dongfang; Xu, Jingtao; Le, Cuiyun; Huang, Enping; Liu, Chao; Qiu, Pingming; Lin, Zhoumeng; Xie, Wei-Bing; Wang, Huijun

    2014-11-04

    Overexposure to methamphetamine (METH), a psychoactive drug, induces a variety of adverse effects to the nervous system, including apoptosis of dopaminergic neurons. Insulin-like growth factor binding protein 5 (IGFBP5), a member of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system, is a pro-apoptotic factor that plays important roles in neuronal apoptosis. To test the hypothesis that IGFBP5 can mediate METH-induced neuronal apoptosis, we examined IGFBP5 mRNA and protein expression changes in PC12 cells exposed to METH (3.0mM) for 24h and in the striatum of rats following 15 mg/kg × 8 intraperitoneal injections of METH at 12h interval. We also checked the effect on neuronal apoptosis after silencing IGFBP5 expression with TUNEL staining and flow cytometry; Western blot was used for detecting the expression of apoptotic markers active-caspase3 and PARP. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying IGFBP5-mediated neuronal apoptosis, we determined the release of cytochrome c (cyto c), an apoptogenic factor, from the mitochondria after METH treatment with or without IGFBP5 knockdown. Our results showed that IGFBP5 expression was increased significantly after METH exposure in PC12 cells and in the METH-treated rats' striatum. Further, METH-exposed PC12 cells exhibited higher apoptosis-positive cell number and activity of caspase3 and PARP compared with control cells, while these changes can be blocked by silencing IGFBP5 expression. In addition, a significant increase of cyto c release from mitochondria after METH exposure was observed and it was inhibited after silencing IGFBP5 expression in PC12 cells. These results indicate that IGFBP5 plays key roles in METH-induced neuronal apoptosis and may be a potential gene target for therapeutics in METH-caused neurotoxicity.

  8. Extracellular ATP mediates necrotic cell swelling in SN4741 dopaminergic neurons through P2X7 receptors.

    PubMed

    Jun, Dong-Jae; Kim, Jaeyoon; Jung, Sang-Yong; Song, Ran; Noh, Ji-Hyun; Park, Yong-Soo; Ryu, Sung-Ho; Kim, Joung-Hun; Kong, Young-Yun; Chung, Jun-Mo; Kim, Kyong-Tai

    2007-12-28

    Extracellular ATP has recently been identified as an important regulator of cell death in response to pathological insults. When SN4741 cells, which are dopaminergic neurons derived from the substantia nigra of transgenic mouse embryos, are exposed to ATP, cell death occurs. This cell death is associated with prominent cell swelling, loss of ER integrity, the formation of many large cytoplasmic vacuoles, and subsequent cytolysis and DNA release. In addition, the cleavage of caspase-3, a hallmark of apoptosis, is induced by ATP treatment. However, caspase inhibitors do not overcome ATP-induced cell death, indicating that both necrosis and apoptosis are associated with ATP-induced cell death and suggesting that a necrotic event might override the apoptotic process. In this study we also found that P2X(7) receptors (P2X(7)Rs) are abundantly expressed in SN4741 cells, and both ATP-induced swelling and cell death are reversed by pretreatment with the P2X(7)Rs antagonist, KN62, or by knock-down of P2X(7)Rs with small interfering RNAs. Therefore, extracellular ATP release from injured tissues may act as an accelerating factor in necrotic SN4741 dopaminergic cell death via P2X(7)Rs.

  9. Protective effects of quercetin on dieldrin-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress and apoptosis in dopaminergic neuronal cells.

    PubMed

    Park, Euteum; Chun, Hong Sung

    2016-10-19

    Dieldrin, an organochlorine pesticide still used in several developing countries, has been proposed as a risk factor for Parkinson's disease. Quercetin is one of the potent bioactive flavonoids present in numerous plants. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of quercetin on neurotoxicity induced by dieldrin in cultured dopaminergic SN4741 cells. Our initial experiments showed that quercetin (10-40 μM) dose dependently prevented dieldrin (20 μM)-induced cytotoxicity in SN4741 cells. Pretreatment for 1 h with quercetin before dieldrin application could significantly suppress dieldrin-induced apoptotic characteristics, including nuclear condensation, DNA fragmentation, and caspase-3/7 activation. Results showed that dieldrin-induced markers of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response such as chaperone GRP78, heme oxygenase-1, and phosphorylation of the α subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2. In addition, dieldrin reduced antiapoptotic Bcl-2 expression, but significantly elevated a proapoptotic transcription factor CHOP. Furthermore, RNA interference to CHOP almost completely repressed dieldrin-induced apoptotic cell death. Interestingly, quercetin prevented the changes in dieldrin-induced ER stress markers. These results suggest that quercetin may suppress the ER stress-CHOP pathway and dieldrin-induced apoptosis in dopaminergic neurons.

  10. Dopaminergic projections of the subparafascicular thalamic nucleus to the auditory brainstem

    PubMed Central

    Nevue, Alexander A.; Felix, Richard A.

    2016-01-01

    Neuromodulators can alter the response properties of sensory neurons, including those in the auditory system. Dopamine, which plays a major role in reward and movement, has been shown to alter neural responses in the auditory brainstem and midbrain. Recently we identified the subparafascicular thalamic nucleus (SPF), part of the A11 dopaminergic cell group, as the source of dopamine to the inferior colliculus (IC). The superior olivary complex (SOC) is also a likely target of dopaminergic projections from the SPF because it receives projections from the SPF and contains fibers and terminals immunoreactive for tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate limiting enzyme in dopamine synthesis. However, it is unknown if the projections from the SPF to SOC are dopaminergic, and if single neurons in the SPF project to both the IC and SOC. Using anterograde tracing combined with fluorescent immunohistochemistry, we found that the SPF sends dopaminergic projections to the superior paraolivary nucleus and the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body, but not the lateral superior olive. We confirmed these projections using a retrograde tracer. By making dual retrograde deposits in the IC and SOC, we found that individual dopaminergic cells innervate both the IC and SOC. These results suggest dopaminergic innervation, likely released in a context dependent manner, occurs at multiple levels of the auditory pathway. PMID:27620513

  11. Effects of titanium dioxide nanoparticles on α-synuclein aggregation and the ubiquitin-proteasome system in dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jie; Xie, Hongjun

    2016-01-01

    Dopaminergic neurons (PC12 cells) were treated with different doses of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2-NPs), to investigate their effects on α-Synuclein (α-Syn) aggregation and their mechanism of action. Western blotting and immunofluorescent staining were performed. Exposure to TiO2-NPs increased α-Syn expression (p < 0.05) and induced dose-dependent α-Syn aggregation. Pretreatment with N-acetylcysteine partially inhibited α-Syn expression induced by a 200 μg/ml dose of TiO2-NPs. TiO2-NPs reduced the expressions of parkin and ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase protein, and were associated with oxidative stress in PC12 cells. Dysfunction of the ubiquitin-proteasome system also contributed to α-Syn aggregation. The potentially neurotoxic TiO2-NPs may cause Parkinson's disease.

  12. Crosstalk between insulin-like growth factor-1 and angiotensin-II in dopaminergic neurons and glial cells: role in neuroinflammation and aging

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez-Perez, Ana I.; Borrajo, Ana; Diaz-Ruiz, Carmen; Garrido-Gil, Pablo; Labandeira-Garcia, Jose L.

    2016-01-01

    The local renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) have been involved in longevity, neurodegeneration and aging-related dopaminergic degeneration. However, it is not known whether IGF-1 and angiotensin-II (AII) activate each other. In the present study, AII, via type 1 (AT1) receptors, exacerbated neuroinflammation and dopaminergic cell death. AII, via AT1 receptors, also increased the levels of IGF-1 and IGF-1 receptors in microglial cells. IGF-1 inhibited RAS activity in dopaminergic neurons and glial cells, and also inhibited the AII-induced increase in markers of the M1 microglial phenotype. Consistent with this, IGF-1 decreased dopaminergic neuron death induced by the neurotoxin MPP+ both in the presence and in the absence of glia. Intraventricular administration of AII to young rats induced a significant increase in IGF-1 expression in the nigral region. However, aged rats showed decreased levels of IGF-1 relative to young controls, even though RAS activity is known to be enhanced in aged animals. The study findings show that IGF-1 and the local RAS interact to inhibit or activate neuroinflammation (i.e. transition from the M1 to the M2 phenotype), oxidative stress and dopaminergic degeneration. The findings also show that this mechanism is impaired in aged animals. PMID:27167199

  13. MMP-3 contributes to nigrostriatal dopaminergic neuronal loss, BBB damage, and neuroinflammation in an MPTP mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Chung, Young Cheul; Kim, Yoon-Seong; Bok, Eugene; Yune, Tae Young; Maeng, Sungho; Jin, Byung Kwan

    2013-01-01

    The present study examined whether matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3) participates in the loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the nigrostriatal pathway in a 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of Parkinson's disease with blood brain barrier (BBB) damage and infiltration of peripheral immune cells. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunostaining of brain sections from MPTP-treated mice showed that MPTP induced significant degeneration of nigrostriatal DA neurons. Moreover, FITC-labeled albumin detection and immunostaining revealed that MPTP caused damage to the BBB and increased the number of ED-1- and CD-3-immunopositive cells in the substantia nigra (SN). Genetic ablation of MMP-3 reduced the nigrostriatal DA neuron loss and improved motor function. This neuroprotective effect afforded by MMP-3 deletion was associated with the suppression of BBB disruption and a decrease in the number of ED-1- and CD-3-immunopositive cells in the SN. These data suggest that MMP-3 could play a crucial role in neurodegenerative diseases such as PD in which BBB damage and neuroinflammation are implicated.

  14. DJ-1 Null Dopaminergic Neuronal Cells Exhibit Defects in Mitochondrial Function and Structure: Involvement of Mitochondrial Complex I Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Heo, Jun Young; Park, Ji Hoon; Kim, Soung Jung; Seo, Kang Sik; Han, Jeong Su; Lee, Sang Hee; Kim, Jin Man; Park, Jong Il; Park, Seung Kiel; Lim, Kyu; Hwang, Byung Doo; Shong, Minho; Kweon, Gi Ryang

    2012-01-01

    DJ-1 is a Parkinson's disease-associated gene whose protein product has a protective role in cellular homeostasis by removing cytosolic reactive oxygen species and maintaining mitochondrial function. However, it is not clear how DJ-1 regulates mitochondrial function and why mitochondrial dysfunction is induced by DJ-1 deficiency. In a previous study we showed that DJ-1 null dopaminergic neuronal cells exhibit defective mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I activity. In the present article we investigated the role of DJ-1 in complex I formation by using blue native-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and 2-dimensional gel analysis to assess native complex status. On the basis of these experiments, we concluded that DJ-1 null cells have a defect in the assembly of complex I. Concomitant with abnormal complex I formation, DJ-1 null cells show defective supercomplex formation. It is known that aberrant formation of the supercomplex impairs the flow of electrons through the channels between respiratory chain complexes, resulting in mitochondrial dysfunction. We took two approaches to study these mitochondrial defects. The first approach assessed the structural defect by using both confocal microscopy with MitoTracker staining and electron microscopy. The second approach assessed the functional defect by measuring ATP production, O2 consumption, and mitochondrial membrane potential. Finally, we showed that the assembly defect as well as the structural and functional abnormalities in DJ-1 null cells could be reversed by adenovirus-mediated overexpression of DJ-1, demonstrating the specificity of DJ-1 on these mitochondrial properties. These mitochondrial defects induced by DJ-1mutation may be a pathological mechanism for the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease. PMID:22403686

  15. Dopamine synapse is a neuroligin-2–mediated contact between dopaminergic presynaptic and GABAergic postsynaptic structures

    PubMed Central

    Uchigashima, Motokazu; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa; Kobayashi, Kazuto; Watanabe, Masahiko

    2016-01-01

    Midbrain dopamine neurons project densely to the striatum and form so-called dopamine synapses on medium spiny neurons (MSNs), principal neurons in the striatum. Because dopamine receptors are widely expressed away from dopamine synapses, it remains unclear how dopamine synapses are involved in dopaminergic transmission. Here we demonstrate that dopamine synapses are contacts formed between dopaminergic presynaptic and GABAergic postsynaptic structures. The presynaptic structure expressed tyrosine hydroxylase, vesicular monoamine transporter-2, and plasmalemmal dopamine transporter, which are essential for dopamine synthesis, vesicular filling, and recycling, but was below the detection threshold for molecules involving GABA synthesis and vesicular filling or for GABA itself. In contrast, the postsynaptic structure of dopamine synapses expressed GABAergic molecules, including postsynaptic adhesion molecule neuroligin-2, postsynaptic scaffolding molecule gephyrin, and GABAA receptor α1, without any specific clustering of dopamine receptors. Of these, neuroligin-2 promoted presynaptic differentiation in axons of midbrain dopamine neurons and striatal GABAergic neurons in culture. After neuroligin-2 knockdown in the striatum, a significant decrease of dopamine synapses coupled with a reciprocal increase of GABAergic synapses was observed on MSN dendrites. This finding suggests that neuroligin-2 controls striatal synapse formation by giving competitive advantage to heterologous dopamine synapses over conventional GABAergic synapses. Considering that MSN dendrites are preferential targets of dopamine synapses and express high levels of dopamine receptors, dopamine synapse formation may serve to increase the specificity and potency of dopaminergic modulation of striatal outputs by anchoring dopamine release sites to dopamine-sensing targets. PMID:27035941

  16. Gene expression profiling with Cre-conditional pseudorabies virus reveals a subset of midbrain neurons that participate in reward circuitry.

    PubMed

    Pomeranz, Lisa E; Ekstrand, Mats I; Latcha, Kaamashri N; Smith, Gregory A; Enquist, Lynn W; Friedman, Jeffrey M

    2017-03-10

    The mesolimbic dopamine pathway receives inputs from numerous regions of the brain as part of a neural system that detects rewarding stimuli and coordinates a behavioral response. The capacity to simultaneously map and molecularly define the components of this complex multisynaptic circuit would thus advance our understanding of the determinants of motivated behavior. To accomplish this, we have constructed pseudorabies virus (PRV) strains in which viral propagation and fluorophore expression are activated only after exposure to Cre recombinase. Once activated in Cre-expressing neurons, the virus serially labels chains of presynaptic neurons. Dual injection of GFP and mCherry tracing viruses simultaneously illuminates nigrostriatal and mesolimbic circuitry and shows no overlap demonstrating that PRV transmission is confined to synaptically connected neurons. In order to molecularly profile mesolimbic dopamine neurons and their presynaptic inputs, we injected Cre-conditional GFP virus into the NAc of (anti-GFP) nanobody-L10 transgenic mice and immunoprecipitated translating ribosomes from neurons infected after retrograde tracing. Analysis of purified RNA revealed an enrichment of transcripts expressed in neurons of the dorsal raphe nuclei and lateral hypothalamus that project to the mesolimbic dopamine circuit. These studies identify important inputs to the mesolimbic dopamine pathway and further show that PRV circuit-directed translating ribosome affinity purification (PRV-Circuit-TRAP) can be broadly applied to identify molecularly defined neurons comprising complex, multisynaptic circuits.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTThe mesolimbic dopamine circuit integrates signals from key brain regions in order to detect and respond to rewarding stimuli. To further define this complex multisynaptic circuit, we constructed a panel of Cre recombinase-activated pseudorabies viruses (PRV) that enabled retrograde tracing of neural inputs that terminate on Cre-expressing neurons. Using

  17. Generation of reactive oxygen species in 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) treated dopaminergic neurons occurs as an NADPH oxidase-dependent two-wave cascade

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Reactive oxygen species (ROS), superoxide and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), are necessary for appropriate responses to immune challenges. In the brain, excess superoxide production predicts neuronal cell loss, suggesting that Parkinson's disease (PD) with its wholesale death of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra pars compacta (nigra) may be a case in point. Although microglial NADPH oxidase-produced superoxide contributes to dopaminergic neuron death in an MPTP mouse model of PD, this is secondary to an initial die off of such neurons, suggesting that the initial MPTP-induced death of neurons may be via activation of NADPH oxidase in neurons themselves, thus providing an early therapeutic target. Methods NADPH oxidase subunits were visualized in adult mouse nigra neurons and in N27 rat dopaminergic cells by immunofluorescence. NADPH oxidase subunits in N27 cell cultures were detected by immunoblots and RT-PCR. Superoxide was measured by flow cytometric detection of H2O2-induced carboxy-H2-DCFDA fluorescence. Cells were treated with MPP+ (MPTP metabolite) following siRNA silencing of the Nox2-stabilizing subunit p22phox, or simultaneously with NADPH oxidase pharmacological inhibitors or with losartan to antagonize angiotensin II type 1 receptor-induced NADPH oxidase activation. Results Nigral dopaminergic neurons in situ expressed three subunits necessary for NADPH oxidase activation, and these as well as several other NADPH oxidase subunits and their encoding mRNAs were detected in unstimulated N27 cells. Overnight MPP+ treatment of N27 cells induced Nox2 protein and superoxide generation, which was counteracted by NADPH oxidase inhibitors, by siRNA silencing of p22phox, or losartan. A two-wave ROS cascade was identified: 1) as a first wave, mitochondrial H2O2 production was first noted at three hours of MPP+ treatment; and 2) as a second wave, H2O2 levels were further increased by 24 hours. This second wave was eliminated by pharmacological inhibitors

  18. A New Glucocerebrosidase Chaperone Reduces α-Synuclein and Glycolipid Levels in iPSC-Derived Dopaminergic Neurons from Patients with Gaucher Disease and Parkinsonism

    PubMed Central

    Aflaki, Elma; Borger, Daniel K.; Moaven, Nima; Stubblefield, Barbara K.; Rogers, Steven A.; Patnaik, Samarjit; Schoenen, Frank J.; Westbroek, Wendy; Zheng, Wei; Sullivan, Patricia; Fujiwara, Hideji; Sidhu, Rohini; Khaliq, Zayd M; Lopez, Grisel J.; Goldstein, David S.; Ory, Daniel S.; Marugan, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Among the known genetic risk factors for Parkinson disease, mutations in GBA1, the gene responsible for the lysosomal disorder Gaucher disease, are the most common. This genetic link has directed attention to the role of the lysosome in the pathogenesis of parkinsonism. To study how glucocerebrosidase impacts parkinsonism and to evaluate new therapeutics, we generated induced human pluripotent stem cells from four patients with Type 1 (non-neuronopathic) Gaucher disease, two with and two without parkinsonism, and one patient with Type 2 (acute neuronopathic) Gaucher disease, and differentiated them into macrophages and dopaminergic neurons. These cells exhibited decreased glucocerebrosidase activity and stored the glycolipid substrates glucosylceramide and glucosylsphingosine, demonstrating their similarity to patients with Gaucher disease. Dopaminergic neurons from patients with Type 2 and Type 1 Gaucher disease with parkinsonism had reduced dopamine storage and dopamine transporter reuptake. Levels of α-synuclein, a protein present as aggregates in Parkinson disease and related synucleinopathies, were selectively elevated in neurons from the patients with parkinsonism or Type 2 Gaucher disease. The cells were then treated with NCGC607, a small-molecule noninhibitory chaperone of glucocerebrosidase identified by high-throughput screening and medicinal chemistry structure optimization. This compound successfully chaperoned the mutant enzyme, restored glucocerebrosidase activity and protein levels, and reduced glycolipid storage in both iPSC-derived macrophages and dopaminergic neurons, indicating its potential for treating neuronopathic Gaucher disease. In addition, NCGC607 reduced α-synuclein levels in dopaminergic neurons from the patients with parkinsonism, suggesting that noninhibitory small-molecule chaperones of glucocerebrosidase may prove useful for the treatment of Parkinson disease. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Because GBA1 mutations are the most common

  19. Dopamine Modulates Adaptive Prediction Error Coding in the Human Midbrain and Striatum

    PubMed Central

    Ziauddeen, Hisham; Vestergaard, Martin D.; Spencer, Tom

    2017-01-01

    Learning to optimally predict rewards requires agents to account for fluctuations in reward value. Recent work suggests that individuals can efficiently learn about variable rewards through adaptation of the learning rate, and coding of prediction errors relative to reward variability. Such adaptive coding has been linked to midbrain dopamine neurons in nonhuman primates, and evidence in support for a similar role of the dopaminergic system in humans is emerging from fMRI data. Here, we sought to investigate the effect of dopaminergic perturbations on adaptive prediction error coding in humans, using a between-subject, placebo-controlled pharmacological fMRI study with a dopaminergic agonist (bromocriptine) and antagonist (sulpiride). Participants performed a previously validated task in which they predicted the magnitude of upcoming rewards drawn from distributions with varying SDs. After each prediction, participants received a reward, yielding trial-by-trial prediction errors. Under placebo, we replicated previous observations of adaptive coding in the midbrain and ventral striatum. Treatment with sulpiride attenuated adaptive coding in both midbrain and ventral striatum, and was associated with a decrease in performance, whereas bromocriptine did not have a significant impact. Although we observed no differential effect of SD on performance between the groups, computational modeling suggested decreased behavioral adaptation in the sulpiride group. These results suggest that normal dopaminergic function is critical for adaptive prediction error coding, a key property of the brain thought to facilitate efficient learning in variable environments. Crucially, these results also offer potential insights for understanding the impact of disrupted dopamine function in mental illness. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT To choose optimally, we have to learn what to expect. Humans dampen learning when there is a great deal of variability in reward outcome, and two brain regions that

  20. Dopamine Modulates Adaptive Prediction Error Coding in the Human Midbrain and Striatum.

    PubMed

    Diederen, Kelly M J; Ziauddeen, Hisham; Vestergaard, Martin D; Spencer, Tom; Schultz, Wolfram; Fletcher, Paul C

    2017-02-15

    Learning to optimally predict rewards requires agents to account for fluctuations in reward value. Recent work suggests that individuals can efficiently learn about variable rewards through adaptation of the learning rate, and coding of prediction errors relative to reward variability. Such adaptive coding has been linked to midbrain dopamine neurons in nonhuman primates, and evidence in support for a similar role of the dopaminergic system in humans is emerging from fMRI data. Here, we sought to investigate the effect of dopaminergic perturbations on adaptive prediction error coding in humans, using a between-subject, placebo-controlled pharmacological fMRI study with a dopaminergic agonist (bromocriptine) and antagonist (sulpiride). Participants performed a previously validated task in which they predicted the magnitude of upcoming rewards drawn from distributions with varying SDs. After each prediction, participants received a reward, yielding trial-by-trial prediction errors. Under placebo, we replicated previous observations of adaptive coding in the midbrain and ventral striatum. Treatment with sulpiride attenuated adaptive coding in both midbrain and ventral striatum, and was associated with a decrease in performance, whereas bromocriptine did not have a significant impact. Although we observed no differential effect of SD on performance between the groups, computational modeling suggested decreased behavioral adaptation in the sulpiride group. These results suggest that normal dopaminergic function is critical for adaptive prediction error coding, a key property of the brain thought to facilitate efficient learning in variable environments. Crucially, these results also offer potential insights for understanding the impact of disrupted dopamine function in mental illness.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT To choose optimally, we have to learn what to expect. Humans dampen learning when there is a great deal of variability in reward outcome, and two brain regions that

  1. Rapid signaling in distinct dopaminergic axons during locomotion and reward

    PubMed Central

    Howe, MW; Dombeck, DA

    2016-01-01

    Summary Dopaminergic projections from the midbrain to striatum are critical for motor control, as their degeneration in Parkinson’s disease results in profound movement deficits. Paradoxically, most recording methods report rapid phasic dopamine signaling (~100ms bursts) to unpredicted rewards, with little evidence for movement-related signaling. The leading model posits that phasic signaling in striatum targeting dopamine neurons drive reward-based learning, while slow variations in firing (tens of seconds to minutes) in these same neurons bias animals towards or away from movement. However, despite widespread acceptance of this model, current methods have provided little evidence to support or refute it. Here, using new optical recording methods, we report the discovery of rapid phasic signaling in striatum-targeting dopaminergic axons that was associated with, and capable of triggering, locomotion in mice. Axons expressing these signals were largely distinct from those signaling during unexpected rewards. These results suggest that dopaminergic neuromodulation can differentially impact motor control and reward learning with sub-second precision and suggest that both precise signal timing and neuronal subtype are important parameters to consider in the treatment of dopamine-related disorders. PMID:27398617

  2. The peptidyl-prolyl isomerase Pin1 up-regulation and proapoptotic function in dopaminergic neurons: relevance to the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Anamitra; Saminathan, Hariharan; Kanthasamy, Arthi; Anantharam, Vellareddy; Jin, Huajun; Sondarva, Gautam; Harischandra, Dilshan S; Qian, Ziqing; Rana, Ajay; Kanthasamy, Anumantha G

    2013-07-26

    Parkinson disease (PD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease characterized by a slow and progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra. The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying PD remain unclear. Pin1, a major peptidyl-prolyl isomerase, has recently been associated with certain diseases. Notably, Ryo et al. (Ryo, A., Togo, T., Nakai, T., Hirai, A., Nishi, M., Yamaguchi, A., Suzuki, K., Hirayasu, Y., Kobayashi, H., Perrem, K., Liou, Y. C., and Aoki, I. (2006) J. Biol. Chem. 281, 4117-4125) implicated Pin1 in PD pathology. Therefore, we sought to systematically characterize the role of Pin1 in PD using cell culture and animal models. To our surprise we observed a dramatic up-regulation of Pin1 mRNA and protein levels in dopaminergic MN9D neuronal cells treated with the parkinsonian toxicant 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP(+)) as well as in the substantia nigra of the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced PD mouse model. Notably, a marked expression of Pin1 was also observed in the substantia nigra of human PD brains along with a high co-localization of Pin1 within dopaminergic neurons. In functional studies, siRNA-mediated knockdown of Pin1 almost completely prevented MPP(+)-induced caspase-3 activation and DNA fragmentation, indicating that Pin1 plays a proapoptotic role. Interestingly, multiple pharmacological Pin1 inhibitors, including juglone, attenuated MPP(+)-induced Pin1 up-regulation, α-synuclein aggregation, caspase-3 activation, and cell death. Furthermore, juglone treatment in the MPTP mouse model of PD suppressed Pin1 levels and improved locomotor deficits, dopamine depletion, and nigral dopaminergic neuronal loss. Collectively, our findings demonstrate for the first time that Pin1 is up-regulated in PD and has a pathophysiological role in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system and suggest that modulation of Pin1 levels may be a useful translational therapeutic strategy in PD.

  3. Modeling of the response of midbrain auditory neurons in the rat to their vocalization sounds based on FM sensitivities.

    PubMed

    Kao, M C; Poon, P W; Sun, X

    1997-01-01

    Single units were recorded from the inferior colliculus (IC) of anaesthetized rats in response to: (a) an FM tone, the frequency of which was randomly varied, and (b) a digitized rat vocalization sound. We hypothesized that these neurons may have 'orientation-specific' spectrotemporal receptive field (STRF) that can be used to estimate their responses to complex communication signals. Based on the FM response, we first estimated the cell's STRF which was then convolved with the spectrogram of the rat's vocalization call. A simple convolution gave only crude prediction of the cell's response to the vocalization sound. When inhibitory areas were added around certain parts of the STRF, a better match was found. We conclude that for some FM-sensitive neurons of the IC, STRF with inhibitory areas may account for their responses to vocalization sounds.

  4. 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

  5. Activity in descending dopaminergic neurons represents but is not required for leg movements in the fruit fly Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Tschida, Katherine; Bhandawat, Vikas

    2015-01-01

    Modulatory descending neurons (DNs) that link the brain to body motor circuits, including dopaminergic DNs (DA-DNs), are thought to contribute to the flexible control of behavior. Dopamine elicits locomotor-like outputs and influences neuronal excitability in isolated body motor circuits over tens of seconds to minutes, but it remains unknown how and over what time scale DA-DN activity relates to movement in behaving animals. To address this question, we identified DA-DNs in the Drosophila brain and developed an electrophysiological preparation to record and manipulate the activity of these cells during behavior. We find that DA-DN spike rates are rapidly modulated during a subset of leg movements and scale with the total speed of ongoing leg movements, whether occurring spontaneously or in response to stimuli. However, activating DA-DNs does not elicit leg movements in intact flies, nor do acute bidirectional manipulations of DA-DN activity affect the probability or speed of leg movements over a time scale of seconds to minutes. Our findings indicate that in the context of intact descending control, changes in DA-DN activity are not sufficient to influence ongoing leg movements and open the door to studies investigating how these cells interact with other descending and local neuromodulatory inputs to influence body motor output. PMID:25742959

  6. Activity in descending dopaminergic neurons represents but is not required for leg movements in the fruit fly Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Tschida, Katherine; Bhandawat, Vikas

    2015-03-01

    Modulatory descending