Thomas AM, Bui N, Perkins JR, Yuva-Paylor LA, Paylor R. Group I metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonists alter select behaviors in a mouse model for fragile X syndrome. Psychopharmacology 219: 47-58

Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Psychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 3.88). 06/2011; 219(1):47-58. DOI: 10.1007/s00213-011-2375-4
Source: PubMed


Studies in the Fmr1 knockout (KO) mouse, a model of fragile X syndrome (FXS), suggest that excessive signaling through group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), comprised of subtypes mGluR1 and mGluR5, may play a role in the pathogenesis of FXS. Currently, no studies have assessed the effect of mGluR1 modulation on Fmr1 KO behavior, and there has not been an extensive behavioral analysis of mGluR5 manipulation in Fmr1 KO mice.
The goals for this study were to determine if pharmacologic blockade of mGluR1 may affect Fmr1 KO behavior as well as to expand on the current literature regarding pharmacologic blockade of mGluR5 on Fmr1 KO behavior.
Reduction of mGluR1 or mGluR5 activity was evaluated on a variety of behavioral assays in wild-type (WT) and Fmr1 KO mice through the use of antagonists: JNJ16259685 (JNJ, mGluR1 antagonist) and MPEP (mGluR5 antagonist).
JNJ and MPEP decreased marble burying in both WT and Fmr1 KO mice without reductions in activity. Neither JNJ nor MPEP affected the prepulse inhibition in either WT or Fmr1 KO mice. JNJ did not affect Fmr1 KO motor coordination but did impair WT performance. MPEP improved a measure of motor learning in Fmr1 KO but not WT mice. While both JNJ and MPEP decreased the audiogenic seizures in the Fmr1 KO, MPEP completely abolished the manifestation of seizures.
These data illustrate that, while the manipulation of either mGluR1 or mGluR5 can affect select behaviors in the Fmr1 KO, we observe greater effects upon mGluR5 reduction.

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    • "Unfortunately, these authors did not analyze the presence of audiogenic seizures in Cyfip1 +/- mice, which is the most relevant phenotype in the FXS mouse model and is dependent on the exaggerated activation of mGluR5. Indeed, this phenotype is rescued by treating mice with MPEP (2-Methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine) an antagonist of mGluR5 (Musumeci et al., 2000; Yan et al., 2005; Thomas et al., 2012). This experiment would be very important to define common actions/pathways of CYFIP1 and FMRP in neuronal function. "
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    ABSTRACT: Intellectual disability (ID) and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have in common alterations in some brain circuits and brain abnormalities, such as synaptic transmission and dendritic spines morphology. Recent studies have indicated a differential expression for specific categories of genes as a cause for both types of disease, while an increasing number of genes is recognized to produce both disorders. An example is the Fragile X mental retardation gene 1 (FMR1), whose silencing causes the Fragile X syndrome, the most common form of ID and autism, also characterized by physical hallmarks. Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), the protein encoded by FMR1, is an RNA-binding protein with an important role in translational control. Among the interactors of FMRP, CYFIP1/2 (cytoplasmic FMRP interacting protein) proteins are good candidates for ID and autism, on the bases of their genetic implication and functional properties, even if the precise functional significance of the CYFIP/FMRP interaction is not understood yet. CYFIP1 and CYFIP2 represent a link between Rac1, the WAVE (WAS protein family member) complex and FMRP, favoring the cross talk between actin polymerization and translational control.
    Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 03/2014; 8:81. DOI:10.3389/fncel.2014.00081 · 4.29 Impact Factor
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    • "This assay reflects repetitive digging behavior without habituation effects to burying even if marble presentations are repeated multiple times during the same day or across several days (Thomas et al., 2009). The number of marbles buried decreases following the administration of Grp I mGluR antagonists (Thomas et al., 2012) and MPEP treatment does not significantly reduce voluntary locomotor. Concerning the assay itself, 20 marbles of varying color were arranged (15 mm in diameter) in a 4 × 5 pattern on top of approximately three and a half cm of bedding (SANI-CHIP) using clean (27 × 21 × 14 cm) polypropylene cages. "
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    ABSTRACT: Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is caused by the lack of expression of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), which results in intellectual disability and other debilitating symptoms including impairment of visual-spatial functioning. FXS is the only single-gene disorder that is highly co-morbid with autism spectrum disorder and can therefore provide insight into its pathophysiology. Lack of FMRP results in altered group I metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) signalling, which is a target for putative treatments. The Hebb-Williams (H-W) mazes are a set of increasingly complex spatial navigation problems that depend on intact hippocampal and thus mGluR-5 functioning. In the present investigation, we examined whether an antagonist of mGluR-5 would reverse previously described behavioural deficits in Fmr1 KO mice. Mice were trained on a subset of the H-W mazes and then treated with either 20 mg/kg of an mGluR-5 antagonist, 2-Methyl-6-(phenylethynyl) pyridine (MPEP; n = 11) or an equivalent dose of saline (n = 11) prior to running test mazes. Latency and errors were dependent variables recorded during the test phase. Immediately after completing each test, marble-burying behavior was assessed which confirmed that the drug treatment was pharmacologically active during maze learning. Although latency was not statistically different between the groups, MPEP treated Fmr1 KO mice made significantly fewer errors on mazes deemed more difficult suggesting a reversal of the behavioural deficit. MPEP treated mice were also less perseverative and impulsive when navigating mazes. Furthermore, MPEP treatment reversed PSD-95 protein deficits in Fmr1 KO treated mice, whereas levels of a control protein (β-tubulin) remained unchanged. These data further validate MPEP as a potentially beneficial treatment for FXS. Our findings also suggest that adapted H-W mazes may be a useful tool to document alterations in behavioural functioning following pharmacological intervention in FXS.
    Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 03/2014; 8:70. DOI:10.3389/fncel.2014.00070 · 4.29 Impact Factor
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    • "FXS results from inappropriate transcriptional silencing of the FMR1 gene [8] and failure to express its product, FMRP (fragile X mental retardation protein), an RNA-binding protein that represses local protein synthesis [9]. Mice lacking the Fmr1 gene model aspects of the pathophysiology and many of the abnormal behaviors seen in FXS and autism, including cognitive impairments [10-13], increased spontaneous motor activity [14-16] (but see 17,18), increased seizure susceptibility [19,20]; and altered social behaviors [17,21-23]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a leading cause of intellectual disability. FXS is caused by loss of function of the FMR1 gene, and mice in which Fmr1 has been inactivated have been used extensively as a preclinical model for FXS. We investigated the behavioral pharmacology of drugs acting through dopaminergic, glutamatergic, and cholinergic systems in fragile X (Fmr1 (-/Y)) mice with intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) and locomotor activity measurements. We also measured brain expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine biosynthesis. Fmr1 (-/Y) mice were more sensitive than wild type mice to the rewarding effects of cocaine, but less sensitive to its locomotor stimulating effects. Anhedonic but not motor depressant effects of the atypical neuroleptic, aripiprazole, were reduced in Fmr1 (-/Y) mice. The mGluR5-selective antagonist, 6-methyl-2-(phenylethynyl)pyridine (MPEP), was more rewarding and the preferential M1 antagonist, trihexyphenidyl, was less rewarding in Fmr1 (-/Y) than wild type mice. Motor stimulation by MPEP was unchanged, but stimulation by trihexyphenidyl was markedly increased, in Fmr1 (-/Y) mice. Numbers of midbrain TH+ neurons in the ventral tegmental area were unchanged, but were lower in the substantia nigra of Fmr1 (-/Y) mice, although no changes in TH levels were found in their forebrain targets. The data are discussed in the context of known changes in the synaptic physiology and pharmacology of limbic motor systems in the Fmr1 (-/Y) mouse model. Preclinical findings suggest that drugs acting through multiple neurotransmitter systems may be necessary to fully address abnormal behaviors in individuals with FXS.
    PLoS ONE 10/2013; 8(10):e77896. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0077896 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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