Article

Effects of neurosteroid actions at N-methyl-D-aspartate and GABA A receptors in the midbrain ventral tegmental area for anxiety-like and mating behavior of female rats.

Department of Psychology, The University at Albany-SUNY, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12222, USA.
Psychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 4.06). 09/2010; 213(1):93-103. DOI: 10.1007/s00213-010-2016-3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA), actions of neurosteroids, such as the progesterone metabolite, 5α-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one (3α,5α-THP), can facilitate mating and influence stress-related processes. Some actions of 3α,5α-THP may occur via positive modulation of GABA(A) receptors (GBRs), or negative modulation of N-methyl-D: -aspartate receptors (NMDARs), to influence anxiety-like behavior; but this is not known.
We aimed to assess the role that neurosteroids and stress factors play on intra-VTA NMDAR- and/or GBR-mediated anxiety-like and mating behavior.
Estradiol-primed, ovariectomized rats, which were partially or completely adrenalectomized (ADX), received infusions of vehicle, an NMDAR blocker (MK-801; 200 ng), or a GBR antagonist (bicuculline, 100 ng) to the VTA. Rats then received intra-VTA vehicle or a neurosteroidogenesis enhancer (N,N-Dihexyl-2-(4-fluorophenyl)indole-3-acetamide, FGIN 1-27, 5 μg) and anxiety-like and sexual behavior was assessed.
Complete, compared to partial, ADX significantly reduced open arm exploration on an elevated plus maze, the proportion of females that engaged in mating, lordosis quotients, pacing of sexual contacts, and defensive aggression towards a sexually vigorous male. Intra-VTA MK-801 enhanced open arm investigation and the proportion of females that engaged in mating. Infusions of either, MK-801 or FGIN 1-27, enhanced lordosis and, when co-administered, FGIN 1-27 attenuated MK-801's lordosis-enhancing effects. Intra-VTA infusions of bicuculline, prior to FGIN 1-27, blocked FGIN 1-27's effects to enhance lordosis.
Together, these data suggest that reduced NMDAR activity in the VTA may influence motivation to explore and engage in sexual behavior. These data suggest that neurosteroid actions at NMDARs and GBRs in the VTA are important for exploration and/or sexual behavior.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
106 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Increased anxiety is co-morbid with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Actions of the neurotoxic HIV-1 regulatory protein, Tat, may contribute to affective dysfunction. We hypothesized that Tat expression would increase anxiety-like behavior of female GT-tg bigenic mice that express HIV-1 Tat protein in the brain in a doxycycline-dependent manner. Furthermore, given reports that HIV-induced anxiety may occur at lower rates among women, and that the neurotoxic effects of Tat are ameliorated by sex steroids in vitro, we hypothesized that 17β-estradiol and/or progesterone would ameliorate Tat-induced anxiety-like effects. Among naturally-cycling proestrous and diestrous mice, Tat-induction via 7days of doxycycline treatment significantly increased anxiety-like responding in an open field, elevated plus maze and a marble-burying task, compared to treatment with saline. Proestrous mice demonstrated less anxiety-like behavior than diestrous mice in the open field and elevated plus maze, but these effects did not significantly interact with Tat-induction. Among ovariectomized mice, doxycycline-induced Tat protein significantly increased anxiety-like behavior in an elevated plus maze and a marble burying task compared to saline-treated mice, but not an open field (where anxiety-like responding was already maximal). Co-administration of progesterone (4mg/kg), but not 17β-estradiol (0.09mg/kg), with doxycycline significantly ameliorated anxiety-like responding in the elevated plus maze and marble burying tasks. When administered together, 17β-estradiol partially antagonized the protective effects of progesterone on Tat-induced anxiety-like behavior. These findings support evidence of steroid-protection over HIV-1 proteins, and extend them by demonstrating the protective capacity of progesterone on Tat-induced anxiety-like behavior of ovariectomized female mice.
    Hormones and Behavior 04/2014; · 3.74 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Steroid sulfonation in the human brain has not been well characterized. The major sulfotransferase (SULT) isoforms that conjugate steroids in humans are SULT1E1, SULT2A1, and SULT2B1b. SULT2B1b catalyzes the sulfonation of 3β-hydroxysteroids, including neurosteroids dehydroepiandrosterone and pregnenolone, as well as cholesterol and several hydroxycholesterols. SULT2B1b mRNA and protein expression were detected in adult and fetal human brain sections, whereas neither mRNA, nor protein expression were identified for SULT1E1 or SULT2A1. Using immunohistochemical analysis, SULT2B1b expression was detected in neurons and oligodendrocytes in adult brain and in epithelial tissues in 28-week-old fetal brain. Sulfonation of cholesterol, oxysterols, and neurosteroids in the brain is apparently catalyzed by SULT2B1b since expression of neither SULT2A1 nor SULT1E1 was detected in human brain sections. SULT2B1b mRNA and protein were also detected in human U373-MG glioblastoma cells. Both mRNA and protein expression of liver X receptor (LXR)-β, but not LXR-α, were detected in U373-MG cells, and LXR-β activation resulted in a decrease in SULT2B1b protein expression. Since hydroxycholesterols are important physiological LXR activators, this suggests a role for regulation of sterol metabolism by LXR and SULT2B1b. Therefore, elucidating key enzymes in the metabolism of cholesterol and neurosteroids could help define the properties of steroid conjugation in the human brain.
    Hormone molecular biology and clinical investigation 10/2011; 8(1):445-454.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neurosteroids are cholesterol-based hormones that can be produced in the brain, independent of secretion from peripheral endocrine glands, such as the gonads and adrenals. A focus in our laboratory for over 25 years has been how production of the pregnane neurosteroid, allopregnanolone, is regulated and the novel (i.e., non steroid receptor) targets for steroid action for behavior. One endpoint of interest has been lordosis, the mating posture of female rodents. Allopregnanolone is necessary and sufficient for lordosis, and the brain circuitry underlying it, such as actions in the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA), has been well-characterized. Published and recent findings supporting a dynamic role of allopregnanolone are included in this review. First, contributions of ovarian and adrenal sources of precursors of allopregnanolone, and the requisite enzymatic actions for de novo production in the central nervous system will be discussed. Second, how allopregnanolone produced in the brain has actions on behavioral processes that are independent of binding to steroid receptors, but instead involve rapid modulatory actions via neurotransmitter targets (e.g., γ-amino butyric acid-GABA, N-methyl-D-aspartate- NMDA) will be reviewed. Third, a recent focus on characterizing the role of a promiscuous nuclear receptor, pregnane xenobiotic receptor (PXR), involved in cholesterol metabolism and expressed in the VTA, as a target for allopregnanolone and how this relates to both actions and production of allopregnanolone will be addressed. For example, allopregnanolone can bind PXR and knocking down expression of PXR in the midbrain VTA attenuates actions of allopregnanolone via NMDA and/or GABAA for lordosis. Our understanding of allopregnanolone's actions in the VTA for lordosis has been extended to reveal the role of allopregnanolone for broader, clinically-relevant questions, such as neurodevelopmental processes, neuropsychiatric disorders, epilepsy, and aging.
    Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 01/2014; 8:106. · 4.47 Impact Factor

Full-text

Download
0 Downloads
Available from