Yohimbine anxiogenesis in the elevated plus maze requires hindbrain noradrenergic neurons that target the anterior ventrolateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis.
ABSTRACT The α2 adrenergic receptor antagonist yohimbine (YO) increases transmitter release from noradrenergic (NA) terminals in cortical and subcortical brain regions, including the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST). YO activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) stress axis and is potently anxiogenic in rats and humans. We previously reported that hindbrain NA neurons within the caudal nucleus of the solitary tract (NST-A2/C2) and ventrolateral medulla (VLM-A1/C1) that innervate the anterior ventrolateral (vl)BST contribute to the ability of YO to activate the HPA stress axis in rats. To determine whether the same NA pathway also contributes to YO-induced anxiogenesis in the elevated plus maze (EPMZ), a selective saporin ribotoxin conjugate (dopamine beta hydroxylase conjugated to saporin toxin, DSAP) was microinjected bilaterally into the anterior vlBST to destroy its NA inputs. Sham-lesioned controls were microinjected with vehicle. Two experiments were conducted to determine DSAP lesion effects on EPMZ behavior. DSAP lesions did not alter maze behavior in rats after intraperitoneal saline, and did not alter the significant effect of prior maze experience to reduce exploratory and open arm maze activities. However, in maze-naïve rats, DSAP lesions abolished YO anxiogenesis in the EPMZ. Post-mortem immunocytochemical analyses confirmed that DSAP consistently ablated caudal NST-A2/C2 and VLM-A1/C1 neurons that innervate the anterior vlBST. DSAP lesions did not destroy non-NA inputs to the anterior vlBST, and produced inconsistent cell loss within the pontine locus coeruleus (A6 cell group) that was unrelated to YO anxiogenesis. Thus, the ability of YO to increase anxiety-like behavior in the EPMZ depends on hindbrain NA neurons that target the anterior vlBST.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: CR4056 is a novel imidazoline-2 (I2 ) ligand exhibiting potent analgesic activity in animal models of pain. In this study, we investigated the effects of CR4056 in a well-established model of postoperative pain where rats develop hyperalgesia in the injured hind paw. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: By measuring paw withdrawal threshold to mechanical pressure, we studied the pharmacology of CR4056, potential sex differences in pain perception and response to treatment, and the pharmacodynamic interaction of CR4056 with morphine. KEY RESULTS: Oral CR4056 and subcutaneous morphine dose-dependently reversed the hyperalgesic response. Analgesic effects of CR4056 were completely suppressed by the non-selective imidazoline I2 /α2 -adrenoceptor antagonist idazoxan, were partially reduced (∼30%; P < 0.05) by the selective α2 -adrenoceptor antagonist yohimbine, but were not influenced by the non-selective I1 /α2 -adrenoceptor antagonist efaroxan or by the μ opioid receptor antagonist naloxone. We found no differences in responses to CR4056 or morphine between male and female rats. However, females had a lower pain threshold than males, and needed lower doses of drugs to reach a significant analgesia. When CR4056 and morphine were combined, their median effective doses were lower than expected for additive effects, both in males and in females. Isobolographic analysis confirmed a synergism between CR4056 and morphine. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: CR4056 is a novel pharmacological agent under development for postoperative pain both as stand-alone treatment and in association with morphine. CR4056 has successfully completed Phase I studies for tolerability and pharmacokinetics in healthy volunteers, and is currently entering the first proof-of-concept study in patients.British Journal of Pharmacology 08/2014; 171(15):3693. DOI:10.1111/bph.12728 · 4.99 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Physical exercise is known to reduce anxiety. The ventral hippocampus has been linked to anxiety regulation but the effects of running on this subregion of the hippocampus have been incompletely explored. Here, we investigated the effects of cold water stress on the hippocampus of sedentary and runner mice and found that while stress increases expression of the protein products of the immediate early genes c-fos and arc in new and mature granule neurons in sedentary mice, it has no such effect in runners. We further showed that running enhances local inhibitory mechanisms in the hippocampus, including increases in stress-induced activation of hippocampal interneurons, expression of vesicular GABA transporter (vGAT), and extracellular GABA release during cold water swim stress. Finally, blocking GABAA receptors in the ventral hippocampus, but not the dorsal hippocampus, with the antagonist bicuculline, reverses the anxiolytic effect of running. Together, these results suggest that running improves anxiety regulation by engaging local inhibitory mechanisms in the ventral hippocampus.The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 05/2013; 33(18):7770-7. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5352-12.2013 · 6.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Recent anatomical and functional studies have renewed interest in the lateral habenula (LHb), a critical brain region that works in an opponent manner to modulate aversive and appetitive processes. In particular, increased LHb activation is believed to drive anxiogenic states during stressful conditions. Here, we reversibly inactivated the LHb with GABA receptor agonists (baclofen/muscimol) in rats prior to testing in an open field, elevated plus maze, and defensive burying task in the presence or absence of yohimbine, a noradrenergic α2-receptor antagonist that acts as an anxiogenic stressor. In a second set of experiments using a cocaine self-administration and reinstatement model, we inactivated the LHb during extinction responding and cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking in the presence or absence of yohimbine pretreatment. Inactivation of the LHb after yohimbine treatment attenuated anxiogenic behavior by increasing time spent in the open arms and reducing the time spent burying. Inactivation of the LHb also reduced cocaine seeking when cue-induced reinstatement occurred in the presence of yohimbine, but did not affect extinction responding or cue-induced reinstatement by itself. These data demonstrate that the LHb critically regulates states of heightened anxiety during both unconditioned behavior and conditioned appetitive processes.Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 08/2013; 111. DOI:10.1016/j.pbb.2013.08.002 · 2.82 Impact Factor