A study of the involvement of melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHR1) in murine models of depression.
ABSTRACT Most antidepressant medications target central monoamine systems and are often characterized by limited efficacies and unwanted side effects. Thus, significant efforts are ongoing to identify novel targets for the treatment of depression. Growing evidence suggests that neuropeptides play a role in the pathophysiology of depression. The melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is one such neuropeptide, implicated in the modulation of many physiological responses.
We utilized an array of techniques including chronic mild stress (CMS) as a depression paradigm, neurobehavior, gene expression analysis, and knockout genetics to investigate the role of MCH receptor subtype 1 (MCHR1) in murine models of depression.
We report here that following a 5-week exposure to repeated chronic mild stress (an ethologically relevant animal model of depression), C57Bl/6J mice have increased hippocampal gene expression of MCH receptor subtype 1 (MCHR1), the cognate melanin concentrating hormone receptor in mice. This increased gene expression is reversed by chronic fluoxetine hydrochloride (Prozac) treatment. Additionally, while female and male mice carrying a null mutation of the MCHR1 gene show comparable anxiolytic-like behavior on the open field, only female knockout mice exhibit antidepressant-like behavior, when tested on the forced swim and tail suspension tests.
Taken together, we suggest that antagonism of the MCHR1 receptor may provide a novel approach for the treatment of affective disorders, including depression, with a potentially increased efficacy in women.
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ABSTRACT: In preclinical studies, the hypothalamic polypeptide melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) has been shown to be involved in depression-like behavior and modulations of MCH and MCH-receptors were proposed as potential new antidepressant drug targets. For the first time, MCH serum levels were explored in 30 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) prior to (T1) and after 2 (T2) and 4 weeks (T3) of antidepressant treatment and in 30 age- and sex-matched healthy controls by applying a fluorescence immunoassay. Levels of MCH did not differ significantly between un-medicated patients (444.11±174.63pg/mL SD) and controls (450.68±210.03pg/mL SD). In MDD patients, MCH levels significantly decreased from T1 to T3 (F=4.663; p=0.013). Post-hoc analyses showed that these changes were limited to patients treated with mirtazapine but not escitalopram and female but not male patients. MCH-levels showed high correlations from T1 to T3 (r≥0.964, p<0.001) and were found to correlate significantly with parameters of sleep within the controls. Small sample size. No follow-up measures were performed within the control group. Our findings suggest peripheral MCH-levels not to be altered in depression but possibly reflecting depression-related state properties that can be modulated by sleep, medication and sex. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.Journal of Affective Disorders 04/2015; 180:207-213. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2015.03.039 · 3.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Melanin-concentrating Hormone (MCH) is a 19 amino acid cyclic neuropeptide that acts in rodents via the MCH receptor 1 (MCHR1) to regulate a wide variety of physiological functions. MCH is produced by a distinct population of neurons located in the lateral hypothalamus (LH) and zona incerta (ZI) but MCHR1 mRNA is widely expressed throughout the brain. The physiological responses and behaviors regulated by the MCH system have been investigated, but less is known about how MCH neurons are regulated. The effects of most classical neurotransmitters on MCH neurons have been studied, but those of neuropeptides are poorly understood. In order to gain insight into how neuropeptides regulate the MCH system, we investigated which neuropeptide receptors are expressed by MCH neurons using double in situ hybridization. In all, twenty receptors, selected based upon either a suspected interaction with the MCH system or demonstrated high expression levels in the LH and ZI, were tested to determine whether they are expressed by MCH neurons. Overall, eleven neuropeptide receptors were found to exhibit significant colocalization with MCH neurons: Nociceptin / Orphanin FQ Opioid receptor (NOP), MCHR1, both Orexin receptors (ORX), Somatostatin receptor 1 and 2 (SSTR1, SSTR2), the Kisspeptin receotor (KissR1), Neurotensin receptor 1 (NTSR1), Neuropeptide S receptor (NPSR), Cholecystokinin receptor A (CCKAR) and the κ-opioid receptor (KOR). Of these receptors, six have never before been linked to the MCH system. Surprisingly, several receptors thought to regulate MCH neurons displayed minimal colocalization with MCH, suggesting that they may not directly regulate the MCH system. J. Comp. Neurol., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.The Journal of Comparative Neurology 12/2014; 522(17). DOI:10.1002/cne.23642 · 3.51 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The MCHR1 is an interesting pharmacological and pharmaceutical target, due to its involvement in pathologies as diabetes, gut inflammation and adiposity. In vivo PET-studies of the MCHR1 in energy homeostasis and diabetes could be of great value for deeper understanding of endocrinological hormone status and consequential pharmacological interactions. Furthermore, PET-tracers would facilitate compound dose selection of MCHR1 antagonists for treatment. Therefore, we developed two potential PET-tracers, [(11)C]SNAP-7941 and [(18)F]FE@SNAP, for the in vivo visualization of this receptor. Aim of this study was a preclinical in vitro evaluation of both unlabeled ligands. Therefore, a comparative autoradiographic investigation on CNS (coronal rat brain and 4 different human brain regions) and peripheral tissues (rat tongue as target and rat testes as non-target region) was conducted. Competition experiments, using the two radioligands [(125)I]-MCH and [(125)I]-S36057, were performed with selective and specific MCHR1 ligands as PMC-3886, a MCHR1 agonist, SNAP-7941 and FE@SNAP, two MCHR1 antagonists. Additionally, immunohistochemical staining with a specific MCHR1 antibody was performed. Specific binding was found in all tissues known to express the MCHR1 as human and rat CNS and peripheral rat tongue tissue. No specific binding was found in the non-target region of rat testes. MCHR1 antibody staining complemented the outcome of the autoradiographic experiments. The compounds SNAP-7941 and FE@SNAP were generally comparable with PMC-3886. Hence, the in vitro autoradiographic study of the unlabeled compounds SNAP-7941 and FE@SNAP further qualifies the potential of the PET-tracers [(11)C]SNAP-7941 and [(18)F]FE@SNAP as useful MCHR1 PET-tracers.European journal of pharmacology 04/2014; 735:177-183. DOI:10.1016/j.ejphar.2014.04.020 · 2.68 Impact Factor