Habenular α5 nicotinic receptor subunit signalling controls nicotine intake.
ABSTRACT Genetic variation in CHRNA5, the gene encoding the α5 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit, increases vulnerability to tobacco addiction and lung cancer, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Here we report markedly increased nicotine intake in mice with a null mutation in Chrna5. This effect was 'rescued' in knockout mice by re-expressing α5 subunits in the medial habenula (MHb), and recapitulated in rats through α5 subunit knockdown in MHb. Remarkably, α5 subunit knockdown in MHb did not alter the rewarding effects of nicotine but abolished the inhibitory effects of higher nicotine doses on brain reward systems. The MHb extends projections almost exclusively to the interpeduncular nucleus (IPN). We found diminished IPN activation in response to nicotine in α5 knockout mice. Further, disruption of IPN signalling increased nicotine intake in rats. Our findings indicate that nicotine activates the habenulo-interpeduncular pathway through α5-containing nAChRs, triggering an inhibitory motivational signal that acts to limit nicotine intake.
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ABSTRACT: While nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is an effective pharmacological smoking cessation treatment, its efficacy is influenced by adherence to and consumption of the prescribed dose. The genetic variant rs1051730 in the nicotinic receptor gene cluster CHRNA5-A3-B4 influences smoking quantity. The aim of this study was to explore the impact of rs1051730 genotype on adherence to and consumption of NRT prescription following a smoking cessation attempt. Secondary analysis of data from a pharmacogenetic smoking cessation trial. Participants (n=448) were prescribed a daily dose of NRT for four weeks post quit attempt, and monitored during weekly clinic visits. Outcome measures were NRT prescription adherence rate (%) and average daily NRT consumption (mg) at 7- and 28-days after the quit attempt. An association between rs1051730 genotype and both outcome measures was observed at 7-days after the quit date. Each copy of the minor allele corresponded to a 2.9% decrease in adherence to prescribed NRT dose (P=0.044), and a 1.0mg decrease in daily NRT consumption (P=0.026). Adjusting for number of cigarettes smoked during this period only slightly attenuated these associations. There was no clear statistical evidence of an association between genotype and adherence or consumption at 28-days. This is the first study to evaluate the impact of rs1051730 genotype on consumption of and adherence to NRT prescription during a smoking cessation attempt. We observed an association between this variant and both outcome measures at 7-days; however, this was only moderate. These findings require replication in an independent sample. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.Drug and alcohol dependence 04/2015; 165. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.03.035 · 3.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) typically results from individual mutations in any one of >70 genes that cause rod photoreceptor cells to degenerate prematurely, eventually resulting in blindness. Gene therapies targeting individual RP genes have shown efficacy at clinical trial; however, these therapies require the surviving photoreceptor cells to be viable and functional, and may be economically feasible for only the more commonly mutated genes. An alternative potential treatment strategy, particularly for late stage disease, may involve stem cell transplants into the photoreceptor layer of the retina. Rod progenitors from postnatal mouse retinas can be transplanted and can form photoreceptors in recipient adult retinas; optimal numbers of transplantable cells are obtained from postnatal day 3-5 (P3-5) retinas. These cells can also be expanded in culture; however, this results in the loss of photoreceptor potential. Gene expression differences between postnatal retinas, cultured retinal progenitor cells (RPCs), and rod photoreceptor precursors were investigated to identify gene expression patterns involved in the specification of rod photoreceptors. Microarrays were used to investigate differences in gene expression between cultured RPCs that have lost photoreceptor potential, P1 retinas, and fresh P5 retinas that contain significant numbers of transplantable photoreceptors. Additionally, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) sorted Rho-eGFP-expressing rod photoreceptor precursors were compared with Rho-eGFP-negative cells from the same P5 retinas. Differential expression was confirmed with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR). Analysis of the microarray data sets, including the use of t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding (t-SNE) to identify expression pattern neighbors of key photoreceptor specific genes, resulted in the identification of 636 genes differentially regulated during rod specification. Forty-four of these genes when mutated have previously been found to cause retinal disease. Although gene function in other tissues may be known, the retinal function of approximately 61% of the gene list is as yet undetermined. Many of these genes' promoters contain binding sites for the key photoreceptor transcription factors Crx and Nr2e3; moreover, the genomic clustering of differentially regulated genes appears to be non-random. This study aids in understanding gene expression differences between rod photoreceptor progenitors versus cultured RPCs that have lost photoreceptor potential. The results provide insights into rod photoreceptor development and should expedite the development of cell-based treatments for RP. Furthermore, the data set includes a large number of retinopathy genes; less-well-characterized genes within this data set are a resource for those seeking to identify novel retinopathy genes in patients with RP (GEO accession: GSE59201).Molecular vision 21:61-87. · 2.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Increased CRF signalling in a ventral tegmental area-interpeduncular nucleus-medial habenula circuit induces anxiety during nicotine withdrawal Increased anxiety is a prominent withdrawal symptom in abstinent smokers, yet the neu-roanatomical and molecular bases underlying it are unclear. Here we show that withdrawal-induced anxiety increases activity of neurons in the interpeduncular intermediate (IPI), a subregion of the interpeduncular nucleus (IPN). IPI activation during nicotine withdrawal was mediated by increased corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) receptor-1 expression and signalling , which modulated glutamatergic input from the medial habenula (MHb). Pharmacological blockade of IPN CRF1 receptors or optogenetic silencing of MHb input reduced IPI activation and alleviated withdrawal-induced anxiety; whereas IPN CRF infusion in mice increased anxiety. We identified a mesointerpeduncular circuit, consisting of ventral teg-mental area (VTA) dopaminergic neurons projecting to the IPN, as a potential source of CRF. Knockdown of CRF synthesis in the VTA prevented IPI activation and anxiety during nicotine withdrawal. These data indicate that increased CRF receptor signalling within a VTA–IPN–MHb circuit triggers anxiety during nicotine withdrawal.Nature Communications 04/2015; DOI:10.1038/ncomms7770 · 10.74 Impact Factor