[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the inner retina, ganglion cells (RGCs) integrate and process excitatory signal from bipolar cells (BCs) and inhibitory signal from amacrine cells (ACs). Using multiple labeling immunohistochemistry, we first revealed the expression of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) at the terminals of ACs and BCs in rat retina. By patch-clamp techniques, we then showed how the activation of this receptor dichotomously regulated miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs), mediated by GABAA receptors and glycine receptors, and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs), mediated by AMPA receptors, of RGCs in rat retinal slices. WIN55212-2 (WIN), a CB1R agonist, reduced the mIPSC frequency due to an inhibition of L-type Ca(2+) channels no matter whether AMPA receptors were blocked. In contrast, WIN reduced the mEPSC frequency by suppressing T-type Ca(2+) channels only when inhibitory inputs to RGCs were present, which could be in part due to less T-type Ca(2+) channels of cone BCs, presynaptic to RGCs, being in an inactivation state under such condition. This unique feature of CB1R-mediated retrograde regulation provides a novel mechanism for modulating excitatory synaptic transmission in the inner retina. Moreover, depolarization of RGCs suppressed mIPSCs of these cells, an effect that was eliminated by the CB1R antagonist SR141716, suggesting that endocannabinoid is indeed released from RGCs.
Brain Structure and Function 10/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00429-014-0908-4 · 5.62 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Somatostatin (SRIF) modulates neurotransmitter release by activating the specific receptors (sst1-sst5). Our previous study showed that sst5 receptors are expressed in rat retinal GABAergic amacrine cells. Here, we investigated modulation of GABA release by SRIF in cultured amacrine cells, using patch-clamp techniques. The frequency of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) in the amacrine cells was significantly reduced by SRIF, which was partially reversed by BIM 23056, an sst5 receptor antagonist, and was further rescued by addition of CYN-154806, an sst2 receptor antagonist. Both nimodipine, an L-type Ca(2+) channel blocker, and ω-conotoxin GVIA, an N-type Ca(2+) channel blocker, suppressed the sIPSC frequency, and in the presence of nimodipine and ω-conotoxin GVIA, SRIF failed to further suppress the sIPSC frequency. Extracellular application of forskolin, an activator of adenylate cyclase, increased the sIPSC frequency, while the membrane permeable protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor Rp-cAMP reduced it, and in the presence of Rp-cAMP, SRIF did not change sIPSCs. However, SRIF persisted to suppress the sIPSCs in the presence of KT5823, a protein kinase G (PKG) inhibitor. Moreover, pre-incubation with Bis IV, a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor, or pre-application of xestospongin C, an inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP3R) inhibitor, SRIF still suppressed the sIPSC frequency. All these results suggest that SRIF suppresses GABA release from the amacrine cells by inhibiting presynaptic Ca(2+) channels, in part through activating sst5/sst2 receptors, a process that is mediated by the intracellular cAMP-PKA signaling pathway.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DBA/2J mouse has been used as a model for spontaneous secondary glaucoma. Here, we investigated changes in expression of NMDA receptor (NMDAR) subunits and Cdk5/p35/NMDAR signaling in retinas of DBA/2J mice using Western blot technique. The protein levels of NR1 and NR2A subunits in retinas of DBA/2J mice at all ages (6-12 months) were not different from those in age-matched C57BL/6 mice. In contrast, the protein levels of NR2B subunits, in addition to age-dependent change, significantly increased with elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in DBA/2J mice at 6 and 9 months as compared with age-matched controls. Moreover, expression of Cdk5, p35 and ratio of p-NR2A(S1232)/NR2A progressively increased with time in both strains, suggestive of activated Cdk5/p35 signaling pathway. However, the changes in these proteins were in the same levels in both strain mice, except a significant increase of p35 proteins at 6 months in DBA/2J mice. Meanwhile, the protein levels of Brn-3a, a retinal ganglion cell (RGC) maker, remarkably decreased at 9-12 months in DBA/2J mice, which was in parallel with the changes of NR2B expression. Our results suggest that elevated IOP-induced increase in expression of NR2B subunits of NMDARs may be involved in RGC degeneration of DBA/2J mice.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) signaling system is extensively distributed in the vertebrate retina. Activation of CB1Rs regulates a variety of functions of retinal neurons through modulating different ion channels. In the present work we studied effects of this receptor signaling on K(+) channels in retinal ganglion cells by patch-clamp techniques. The CB1R agonist WIN 55212-2 (WIN) suppressed outward K(+) currents in acutely isolated rat retinal ganglion cells in a dose-dependent manner, with an IC50 of 4.7 μM. We further showed that WIN mainly suppressed the tetraethylammonium (TEA)-sensitive K(+) current component. Whilst CB1Rs were expressed in rat retinal ganglion cells, the WIN effect on K(+) currents was not blocked by either AM251/SR141716, specific CB1R antagonists, or AM630, a selective CB2R antagonist. Consistently, cAMP-protein kinase A (PKA) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/ extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathways were unlikely involved in the WIN-induced suppression of the K(+) currents because both PKA inhibitors H-89/Rp-cAMP and MAPK/ERK1/2 inhibitor U0126 failed to block the WIN effects. WIN-induced suppression of the K(+) currents was not observed when WIN was intracellularly applied. Furthermore, an endogenous ligand of cannabinoid receptor anandamide (AEA), the specific CB1R agonist ACEA and the selective CB2R agonist CB65 also suppressed the K(+) currents, and the effects were not blocked by AM251/SR141716 or AM630 respectively. All these results suggest that the WIN-induced suppression of the outward K(+) currents in rat retinal ganglion cells, thereby regulating the cell excitability, were not through CB1R/CB2R signaling pathways.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Müller cell gliosis, which is characterized by upregulated expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), is a universal response in many retinal pathological conditions. Whether down-regulation of inward rectifying K(+) (Kir) channels, which commonly accompanies the enhanced GFAP expression, could contribute to Müller cell gliosis is poorly understood. We investigated changes of Kir currents, GFAP and Kir4.1 protein expression in Müller cells in a rat chronic ocular hypertension (COH) model, and explored the mechanisms underlying Müller cell gliosis. We show that Kir currents and Kir4.1 protein expression in Müller cells were reduced significantly, while GFAP expression was increased in COH rats, and these changes were eliminated by MPEP, a group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR I) subtype mGluR5 antagonist. In normal isolated Müller cells, the mGluR I agonist (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) suppressed the Kir currents and the suppression was blocked by MPEP. The DHPG effect was mediated by the intracellular Ca(2+)-dependent PLC/IP(3)-ryanodine/PKC signaling pathway, but the cAMP-PKA pathway was not involved. Moreover, intravitreal injection of DHPG in normal rats induced changes in Müller cells, similar to those observed in COH rats. The DHPG-induced increase of GFAP expression in Müller cells was obstructed by Ba(2+), suggesting the involvement of Kir channels. We conclude that overactivation of mGluR5 by excessive extracellular glutamate in COH rats could contribute to Müller cell gliosis by suppressing Kir channels.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 09/2012; 32(37):12744-55. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1291-12.2012 · 6.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated possible involvement of a calpain/p35-p25/cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) signaling pathway in modifying NMDA receptors (NMDARs) in glutamate-induced injury of cultured rat retinal neurons. Glutamate treatment decreased cell viability and induced cell apoptosis, which was accompanied by an increase in Cdk5 and p-Cdk5(T15) protein levels. The Cdk5 inhibitor roscovitine rescued the cell viability and inhibited the cell apoptosis. In addition, the protein levels of both calpain 2 and calpain-specific alpha-spectrin breakdown products (SBDPs), which are both Ca(2+)-dependent, were elevated in glutamate-induced cell injury. The protein levels of Cdk5, p-Cdk5(T15), calpain 2 and SBDPs tended to decline with glutamate treatments of more than 9 h. Furthermore, the elevation of SBDPs was attenuated by either D-APV, a NMDAR antagonist, or CNQX, a non-NMDAR antagonist, but was hardly changed by the inhibitors of intracellular calcium stores dantrolene and xestospongin. Moreover, the Cdk5 co-activator p35 was significantly up-regulated, whereas its cleaved product p25 expression showed a transient increase. Glutamate treatment for less than 9 h also considerably enhanced the ratio of the Cdk5-phosphorylated NMDAR subunit NR2A at Ser1232 site (p-NR2A(S1232)) and NR2A (p-NR2A(S1232)/NR2A), and caused a translocation of p-NR2A(S1232) from the cytosol to the plasma membrane. The enhanced p-NR2A(S1232) was inhibited by roscovitine, but augmented by over-expression of Cdk5. Calcium imaging experiments further showed that intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations ([Ca(2+)](i)) of retinal cells were steadily increased following glutamate treatments of 2 h, 6 h and 9 h. All these results suggest that the activation of the calpain/p35-p25/Cdk5 signaling pathway may contribute to glutamate neurotoxicity in the retina by up-regulating p-NR2A(S1232) expression.
PLoS ONE 08/2012; 7(8):e42318. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0042318 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) proteins 2 (RGS2) and 4 (RGS4) play an important role in regulating G(i/o)- and G(q)-coupled receptors. In the present study, we investigated the possible impact of RGS2 and RGS4 on modulation of glycine currents of rat retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) mediated by the G(i/o)-coupled melatonin MT(2) receptor, using immunohistochemistry, Western blot analysis and whole-cell patch-clamp techniques. By immunofluorescence labeling the expression profiles of RGS2 and RGS4 proteins were basically similar. Both of them were widely expressed in the rat retina, particularly in the inner plexiform layer (IPL) and the ganglion cell layer (GCL). In addition, sparse signals of RGS2 and RGS4 were also detected in the inner nuclear layer (INL). Double immunofluorescence labeling further showed that all of RGCs retrogradely labeled expressed both RGS2 and RGS4. Western blot analysis confirmed the presence of RGS2 and RGS4 proteins in the rat retina. Intracellular dialysis of RGCs with the antibody against RGS2/RGS4 to block RGS2/RGS4 function gradually increased glycine current amplitudes of these cells. In the presence of the RGS2/RGS4 antibody melatonin-induced potentiation of glycine currents of RGCs was not observable. These results suggest that RGS2/RGS4 are coupled to melatonin receptor signaling in rat RGCs and these proteins may regulate the MT(2) receptor to change melatonin-induced modulation of glycine currents in rat RGCs.
Brain research 09/2011; 1411:1-8. DOI:10.1016/j.brainres.2011.07.008 · 2.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glaucoma, mainly caused by high intraocular pressure (IOP), is characterized by apoptotic death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). We investigated the possible involvement of cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) and its activator p35, which have been implicated in a variety of neurological disorders, in RGC apoptosis in a rat experimental glaucoma model reproduced by blocking episcleral veins. Cholera toxin B subunit (CTB) retrogradely labeled RGCs displayed a dramatic reduction in number both in the central and peripheral retina on day 14 (D14) (P<0.05 vs. control), D21 (P<0.01 vs. control) and D28 (P<0.001 vs. control) after operation. Terminal dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL)-positive cells were detected on D14 both in the central and peripheral regions, and numerous TUNEL-positive cells were found on D21 and D28 in both the regions (P all<0.001 vs. control). As compared with the control eyes, the expression level of Cdk5 was significantly increased on D21 (P<0.001), whereas that of p35 displayed a marked increase on D14 (P<0.01) and D21 (P<0.001). Meanwhile, both NR2A and p-NR2A(S1232) increased from D14 onwards (P<0.01 to 0.001). Co-immunoprecipitation indicated a direct interaction between Cdk5 and p-NR2A(S1232). Intraperitoneal injection of the Cdk5 inhibitor roscovitine remarkably inhibited RGC apoptosis (P<0.001 vs. vehicle group) and increased the number of CTB-labeled RGCs (P<0.05 to 0.01 vs. vehicle group) in whole flat-mounted retinas, which was accompanied by a significant decrease in expression levels of p35 and p-NR2A(S1232) (P all<0.01 vs. vehicle group). Our results suggest that elevation of p-NR2A(S1232) by Cdk5/p35 contributes to RGC apoptotic death in experimental glaucoma rats, which could be effectively ameliorated by inhibiting Cdk5/p35.
Neurobiology of Disease 08/2011; 43(2):455-64. DOI:10.1016/j.nbd.2011.04.019 · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: By challenging specific receptors, melatonin synthesized and released by photoreceptors regulates various physiological functions in the vertebrate retina. Here, we studied modulatory effects of melatonin on K+ currents of rod-dominant ON type bipolar cells (Rod-ON-BCs) in rat retinal slices by patch-clamp techniques. Double immunofluorescence experiments conducted in isolated cell and retinal section preparations showed that the melatonin MT₂ receptor was expressed in somata, dendrites and axon terminals of rat Rod-ON-BCs. Electrophysiologically, application of melatonin selectively inhibited the tetraethylammonium (TEA)-sensitive K+ current component, but did not show any effect on the 4-aminopyridine (4-AP)-sensitive component. Consistent with the immunocytochemical result, the melatonin effect was blocked by co-application of 4-phenyl-2-propionamidotetralin (4-P-PDOT), a specific MT₂ receptor antagonist. Neither protein kinase A (PKA) nor protein kinase G (PKG) seemed to be involved because both the PKA inhibitor Rp-cAMP and the PKG inhibitor KT5823 did not block the melatonin-induced suppression of the K+ currents. In contrast, application of the phospholipase C (PLC) inhibitor U73122 or the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor bisindolylmaleimide IV (Bis IV) eliminated the melatonin effect, and when the Ca²+ chelator BAPTA-containing pipette was used, melatonin failed to inhibit the K+ currents. These results suggest that suppression of the TEA-sensitive K+ current component via activation of MT₂ receptors expressed on rat Rod-ON-BCs may be mediated by a Ca²+-dependent PLC/inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP₃/PKC signaling pathway.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In vertebrate retina, melatonin regulates various physiological functions. In this work we investigated the mechanisms underlying melatonin-induced potentiation of glycine currents in rat retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Immunofluorescence double labelling showed that rat RGCs were solely immunoreactive to melatonin MT2 receptors. Melatonin potentiated glycine currents of RGCs, which was reversed by the MT2 receptor antagonist 4-P-PDOT. The melatonin effect was blocked by intracellular dialysis of GDP-β-S. Either preincubation with pertussis toxin or application of the phosphatidylcholine (PC)-specific phospholipase C (PLC) inhibitor D609, but not the phosphatidylinositol (PI)-PLC inhibitor U73122, blocked the melatonin effect. The protein kinase C (PKC) activator PMA potentiated the glycine currents and in the presence of PMA melatonin failed to cause further potentiation of the currents, whereas application of the PKC inhibitor bisindolylmaleimide IV abolished the melatonin-induced potentiation. The melatonin effect persisted when [Ca2+]i was chelated by BAPTA, and melatonin induced no increase in [Ca2+]i. Neither cAMP-PKA nor cGMP-PKG signalling pathways seemed to be involved because 8-Br-cAMP or 8-Br-cGMP failed to cause potentiation of the glycine currents and both the PKA inhibitor H-89 and the PKG inhibitor KT5823 did not block the melatonin-induced potentiation. In consequence, a distinct PC-PLC/PKC signalling pathway, following the activation of Gi/o-coupled MT2 receptors, is most likely responsible for the melatonin-induced potentiation of glycine currents of rat RGCs. Furthermore, in rat retinal slices melatonin potentiated light-evoked glycine receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents in RGCs. These results suggest that melatonin, being at higher levels at night, may help animals to detect positive or negative contrast in night vision by modulating inhibitory signals largely mediated by glycinergic amacrine cells in the inner retina.
The Journal of Physiology 07/2010; 588(Pt 14):2605-19. DOI:10.1113/jphysiol.2010.187641 · 5.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The microtubule-associated protein tau has been implicated in beta-amyloid- and glutamate-induced neurotoxicity. However, the potential role of tau in response to other insults to neurons remains unclear. In this study, we examined whether deletion of tau would change cell injury induced by heat shock in primary cultures of cortical neurons. After 30 min of a 45 degrees C heat shock, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release increased, reaching a peak at 6 hr in wild-type (WT) neurons. A significantly lower LDH release, with a peak delayed by 24 hr, was detected in tau knockout (TKO) neurons. After heat shock treatment, MAP-2 and tubulin staining of the processes of WT neurons revealed more dramatic abnormalities than in TKO neurons. Both WT and TKO neurons exhibited a similar elevation of HSP70 level but different time courses of Akt phosphorylation. In contrast to an early, brief response in WT neurons, TKO neurons displayed a late, but long-lasting increase in phosphorylation of Akt and its downstream target, glycogen synthase kinase 3beta. Additionally, inhibition of Akt activity aggravated the cell morbidity caused by heat shock exposure in both WT and TKO neurons, indicating a protective role of Akt against cell injury. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that deletion of tau attenuated heat shock-induced neuronal injury. Enhanced Akt response in the absence of endogenous tau is suggested to represent a compensatory mechanism for regulating cell reactions to stress stimuli.
Journal of Neuroscience Research 01/2010; 88(1):102-10. DOI:10.1002/jnr.22188 · 2.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Truncated tau is widely detected in Alzheimer's disease brain, and caspase-3 has been considered as a major executioner for tau truncation at aspartate421 (D421), according to its capability of cleaving recombinant tau in vitro. Here we investigated the relationship between D421 truncated tau and caspase-3 in two transgenic mouse models for tauopathies. In adult transgenic mice, activated caspase-3 could not be detected in neurons containing truncated tau, with the exception of a few glia-like cells or neurons in postnatal mice. Caspase-3 expression exhibited a dramatic decrease at the early development stage, and kept at constantly low levels during adult stages in both wild type and transgenic mice. On the other hand, co-incubating brain homogenates from adult tau transgenic mice and ethanol-treated postnatal mice promoted tau truncation at D421, which was mildly reduced by caspase inhibitor, but completely suppressed by phosphatase inhibitor, indicating that hyperphosphorylated tau becomes a poor substrate for truncation at D421. Taken together, our study shows that insufficient caspase-3 expression and hyperphosphorylated status of tau in the adult transgenic mouse brain restrict caspase-3 as an efficient enzyme for tau truncation in vivo. Clearly, there is a caspase-3 independent mechanism responsible for tau truncation at D421 in these models.
Journal of Neurochemistry 03/2009; 109(2):476-84. DOI:10.1111/j.1471-4159.2009.05959.x · 4.28 Impact Factor