A new model of Pde4d deficiency: genetic knock-down of PDE4D enzyme in rats produces an antidepressant phenotype without spatial cognitive effects
ABSTRACT Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are a superfamily of intracellular second messenger cyclic nucleotide hydrolyzing enzymes composed of 12 families. The Pde4 family has been implicated in depression and cognition, and PDE4 inhibitors have been evaluated as antidepressants and possible cognitive enhancers. Pde4d(-/-) mice show an antidepressant phenotype and learning enhancement on some tests, but not others as do mice treated with PDE4 inhibitors. Here, we report for the first time the behavioral phenotype of a new Pde4d knock-down (KD) rat model of PDE4D deficiency. Consistent with other data on PDE4D deficiency, Pde4d KD rats showed depression resistance in the Porsolt forced swim test and hyperreactivity of the acoustic startle response with no differential response on prepulse inhibition, suggesting no sensorimotor gating defect. Pde4d KD rats also exhibited a small exploratory activity reduction but no difference following habituation, and no enhanced spatial learning or reference memory in the Morris water maze. A selective improvement in route-based learning in the Cincinnati water maze was seen as well as enhanced contextual and cued fear conditioning and a more rapid rate of cued extinction from their higher freezing level that declined to wild-type (WT) levels only after ∼20 extinction trials. The rat model confirms Pde4d's role in depression but not in spatial learning or memory enhancement and shows for the first time higher fear conditioning and altered extinction compared with controls. The new model provides a tool by which to better understand the role of PDE4D in neuropsychiatric disorders and for the development of alternate treatment approaches.
SourceAvailable from: Zack Zdenek Cernovsky[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Introduction. Converging evidence suggests that PDE-4 (phosphodiesterase subtype 4) plays a crucial role in regulating cognition via the PDE-4-cAMP cascade signaling involving phosphorylated cAMP response element binding protein (CREB). Objective. The primary endpoint was to examine the neurocognitive effects of extract Sceletium tortuosum (Zembrin) and to assess the safety and tolerability of Zembrin in cognitively healthy control subjects. Method. We chose the randomized double-blind placebo-controlled cross-over design in our study. We randomized normal healthy subjects (total n = 21) to receive either 25 mg capsule Zembrin or placebo capsule once daily for 3 weeks, in a randomized placebo-controlled 3-week cross-over design. We administered battery of neuropsychological tests: CNS Vital Signs and Hamilton depression rating scale (HAM-D) at baseline and regular intervals and monitored side effects with treatment emergent adverse events scale. Results. 21 subjects (mean age: 54.6 years ± 6.0 yrs; male/female ratio: 9/12) entered the study. Zembrin at 25 mg daily dosage significantly improved cognitive set flexibility (P < 0.032) and executive function (P < 0.022), compared with the placebo group. Positive changes in mood and sleep were found. Zembrin was well tolerated. Conclusion. The promising cognitive enhancing effects of Zembrin likely implicate the PDE-4-cAMP-CREB cascade, a novel drug target in the potential treatment of early Alzheimer's dementia. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01805518.Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2014; 2014:682014. DOI:10.1155/2014/682014 · 2.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1), a risk factor for major mental illnesses, has been studied extensively in the context of neurodevelopment. However, the role of DISC1 in neuronal signaling, particularly in conjunction with intracellular cascades that occur in response to dopamine, a neurotransmitter implicated in numerous psychiatric disorders, remains elusive. Previous data suggest that DISC1 interacts with numerous proteins that impact neuronal function, including activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4). In this study, we identify a novel DISC1 and ATF4 binding region in the genomic locus of phosphodiesterase 4D (PDE4D), a gene implicated in psychiatric disorders. We found that the loss of function of either DISC1 or ATF4 increases PDE4D9 transcription, and that the association of DISC1 with the PDE4D9 locus requires ATF4. We also show that PDE4D9 is increased by D1-type dopamine receptor dopaminergic stimulation. We demonstrate that the mechanism for this increase is due to DISC1 dissociation from the PDE4D locus in mouse brain. We further characterize the interaction of DISC1 with ATF4 to show that it is regulated via protein kinase A-mediated phosphorylation of DISC1 serine-58. Our results suggest that the release of DISC1-mediated transcriptional repression of PDE4D9 acts as feedback inhibition to regulate dopaminergic signaling. Furthermore, as DISC1 loss-of-function leads to a specific increase in PDE4D9, PDE4D9 itself may represent an attractive target for therapeutic approaches in psychiatric disorders.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 16 April 2013; doi:10.1038/mp.2013.38.Molecular Psychiatry 04/2013; DOI:10.1038/mp.2013.38 · 15.15 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Introduction: The second messengers cAMP and cGMP mediate fundamental aspects of brain function relevant to memory, learning, and cognitive functions. Consequently, cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs), the enzymes that inactivate the cyclic nucleotides, are promising targets for the development of cognition-enhancing drugs. Areas covered: PDE4 is the largest of the 11 mammalian PDE families. This review covers the properties and functions of the PDE4 family, highlighting procognitive and memory-enhancing effects associated with their inactivation. Expert opinion: PAN-selective PDE4 inhibitors exert a number of memory- and cognition-enhancing effects and have neuroprotective and neuroregenerative properties in preclinical models. The major hurdle for their clinical application is to target inhibitors to specific PDE4 isoforms relevant to particular cognitive disorders to realize the therapeutic potential while avoiding side effects, in particular emesis and nausea. The PDE4 family comprises four genes, PDE4A-D, each expressed as multiple variants. Progress to date stems from characterization of rodent models with selective ablation of individual PDE4 subtypes, revealing that individual subtypes exert unique and non-redundant functions in the brain. Thus, targeting specific PDE4 subtypes, as well as splicing variants or conformational states, represents a promising strategy to separate the therapeutic benefits from the side effects of PAN-PDE4 inhibitors.Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets 07/2013; DOI:10.1517/14728222.2013.818656 · 4.90 Impact Factor