Haloperidol-induced morphological changes in striatum are associated with glutamate synapses.
ABSTRACT Sub-chronic treatment with the typical neuroleptic, haloperidol (0.5 mg/kg/d, s.c.), but not the atypical neuroleptic, clozapine (35 mg/kg/day, s.c.), causes an increase in synapses containing a perforated postsynaptic density (referred to as 'perforated' synapses) and in dopamine (DA) D2 receptors within the caudate nucleus . To determine if these perforated synapses are glutamatergic, we systemically co-administered MK-801 (0.3 mg/kg/day for 2 weeks), a non-competitive antagonist at the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-associated ion channel, and haloperidol. MK-801 blocked the haloperidol-induced increase in striatal perforated synapses, but not the haloperidol-induced increase in DA D2 receptors. Injection of MK-801 into the striatum also attenuated the haloperidol-induced increase in perforated synapses. Post-embedding immuno-gold electron microscopy using antibodies to glutamate indicated that the gold particles were localized within striatal presynaptic nerve terminals that make contact with perforated postsynaptic densities. These findings support the hypothesis that the haloperidol-induced increase in perforated synapses is regulated by the NMDA subtype of excitatory glutamate receptor. The increase in perforated synapses following administration of haloperidol, which is associated with a high incidence of extrapyramidal side effects (EPS), and the lack of a synaptic change following administration of clozapine, known to have a low frequency of EPS, suggests that glutamate synapses play a role in the motoric side effects that are observed with typical neuroleptic drug treatment.
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ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies are associated with abnormal neuronal aggregation of α-synuclein. However, the mechanisms of aggregation and their relationship to disease are poorly understood. We developed an in vivo multiphoton imaging paradigm to study α-synuclein aggregation in mouse cortex with subcellular resolution. We used a green fluorescent protein-tagged human α-synuclein mouse line that has moderate overexpression levels mimicking human disease. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) of labeled protein demonstrated that somatic α-synuclein existed primarily in an unbound, soluble pool. In contrast, α-synuclein in presynaptic terminals was in at least three different pools: (1) as unbound, soluble protein; (2) bound to presynaptic vesicles; and (3) as microaggregates. Serial imaging of microaggregates over 1 week demonstrated a heterogeneous population with differing α-synuclein exchange rates. The microaggregate species were resistant to proteinase K, phosphorylated at serine-129, oxidized, and associated with a decrease in the presynaptic vesicle protein synapsin and glutamate immunogold labeling. Multiphoton FRAP provided the specific binding constants for α-synuclein's binding to synaptic vesicles and its effective diffusion coefficient in the soma and axon, setting the stage for future studies targeting synuclein modifications and their effects. Our in vivo results suggest that, under moderate overexpression conditions, α-synuclein aggregates are selectively found in presynaptic terminals.Journal of Neuroscience 02/2014; 34(6):2037-50. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Synaptic plasticity is the process by which long-lasting changes take place at synaptic connections. The phenomenon itself is complex and can involve many levels of organization. Some authors separate forms into adaptations that have positive or negative consequences for the individual. It has been hypothesized that an increase in the number of synapses may represent a structural basis for the enduring expression of synaptic plasticity during some events that involve memory and learning; also, it has been suggested that perforated synapses increase in number after some diseases and experimental situations. The aim of this study was to analyze whether dopamine depletion induces changes in the synaptology of the corpus striatum of rats after the unilateral injection of 6-OHDA. The findings suggest that after the lesion, both contralateral and ipsilateral striata exhibit an increased length of the synaptic ending in ipsilateral (since third day) and contralateral striatum (since Day 20), loss of axospinous synapses in ipsilateral striatum and a significant increment in the number of perforated synapses, suggesting brain plasticity that might be deleterious for the spines, because this type of synaptic contacts are presumably excitatory, and in the absence of the modulatory effects of dopamine, the neuron could die through excitotoxic mechanisms. Thus, we can conclude that the presence of perforated synapses after striatal dopamine depletion might be a form of maladaptive synaptic plasticity.Microscopy (Oxford, England). 09/2014;
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ABSTRACT: Emerging researches point to a relevant role of postsynaptic density (PSD) proteins, such as PSD-95, Homer, Shank, and DISC-1, in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders. The PSD is a thickness, detectable at electronic microscopy, localized at the postsynaptic membrane of glutamatergic synapses, and made by scaffolding proteins, receptors, and effector proteins; it is considered a structural and functional crossroad where multiple neurotransmitter systems converge, including the dopaminergic, serotonergic, and glutamatergic ones, which are all implicated in the pathophysiology of psychosis. Decreased PSD-95 protein levels have been reported in postmortem brains of schizophrenia patients. Variants of Homer1, a key PSD protein for glutamate signaling, have been associated with schizophrenia symptoms severity and therapeutic response. Mutations in Shank gene have been recognized in autism spectrum disorder patients, as well as reported to be associated to behaviors reminiscent of schizophrenia symptoms when expressed in genetically engineered mice. Here, we provide a critical appraisal of PSD proteins role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders. Then, we discuss how antipsychotics may affect PSD proteins in brain regions relevant to psychosis pathophysiology, possibly by controlling synaptic plasticity and dendritic spine rearrangements through the modulation of glutamate-related targets. We finally provide a framework that may explain how PSD proteins might be useful candidates to develop new therapeutic approaches for schizophrenia and related disorders in which there is a need for new biological treatments, especially against some symptom domains, such as negative symptoms, that are poorly affected by current antipsychotics.Molecular Neurobiology 09/2013; · 5.47 Impact Factor