[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased neuronal oxidative stress (OxS) induces deleterious effects on signal transduction, structural plasticity and cellular resilience, mainly by inducing lipid peroxidation in membranes, proteins and genes. Major markers of OxS levels include the thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and the enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase. Lithium has been shown to prevent and/or reverse DNA damage, free-radical formation and lipid peroxidation in diverse models. This study evaluates OxS parameters in healthy volunteers prior to and following lithium treatment. Healthy volunteers were treated with lithium in therapeutic doses for 2-4 weeks. Treatment with lithium in healthy volunteers selectively altered SOD levels in all subjects. Furthermore, a significant decrease in the SOD/CAT ratio was observed following lithium treatment, which was associated with decreased OxS by lowering hydrogen peroxide levels. This reduction in the SOD/CAT ratio may lead to lower OxS, indicated primarily by a decrease in the concentration of cell hydrogen peroxide. Overall, the present findings indicate a potential role for the antioxidant effects of lithium in healthy subjects, supporting its neuroprotective profile in bipolar disorder (BD) and, possibly, in neurodegenerative processes.
Molecular Medicine Reports 12/2011; 5(3):680-2. · 1.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emerging evidence suggests that synaptic plasticity is intimately involved in the pathophysiology and treatment of bipolar
disorder (BPD). Under certain conditions, over-strengthened and/or weakened synapses at different circuits in the brain could
disturb brain functions in parallel, causing manic-like or depressive-like behaviors in animal models. In this chapter, we
summarize the regulation of synaptic plasticity by medications, psychological conditions, hormones, and neurotrophic factors,
and their correlation with mood-associated animal behaviors. We conclude that increased serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine,
brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), acute corticosterone, and antidepressant treatments lead to enhanced synaptic strength
in the hippocampus and also correlate with antidepressant-like behaviors. In contrast, inhibiting monoaminergic signaling,
long-term stress, and pathophysiological concentrations of cytokines weakens glutamatergic synaptic strength in the hippocampus
and is associated with depressive-like symptoms.
KeywordsBDNF-Bipolar disorder-Cytokine-Mood stabilizer-Stress-Synaptic plasticity
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lithium has been the gold standard in the treatment of bipolar disorder (BPD) for 60 y. Like lithium, glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3) inhibitors display both antimanic-like and antidepressant-like effects in some animal models. However, the molecular mechanisms of both lithium and GSK-3 inhibitors remain unclear. Here we show that the GSK-3 inhibitor AR-A014418 regulated alpha-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionate (AMPA)-induced GluR1 and GluR2 internalization via phosphorylation of kinesin light chain 2 (KLC2), the key molecule of the kinesin cargo delivery system. Specifically, AMPA stimulation triggered serine phosphorylation of KLC2 and, subsequently, the dissociation of the GluR1/KLC2 protein complex. This suggests that GSK-3 phosphorylation of KLC2 led to the dissociation of AMPA-containing vesicles from the kinesin cargo system. The peptide TAT-KLCpCDK, a specific inhibitor for KLC2 phosphorylation by GSK-3beta, reduced the formation of long-term depression. Furthermore, the TAT-KLCpCDK peptide showed antimanic-like effects similar to lithium's on amphetamine-induced hyperactivity, a frequently used animal model of mania. It also induced antidepressant-like effects in the tail suspension and forced swim tests, two commonly used animal models of depression. Taken together, the results demonstrated that KLC2 is a cellular target of GSK-3beta capable of regulating synaptic plasticity, particularly AMPA receptor trafficking, as well as mood-associated behaviors in animal models. The kinesin cargo system may provide valuable novel targets for the development of new therapeutics for mood disorders.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2010; 107(25):11573-8. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glucocorticoids play an important biphasic role in modulating neural plasticity; low doses enhance neural plasticity and spatial memory behavior, whereas chronic, higher doses produce inhibition. We found that 3 independent measures of mitochondrial function-mitochondrial oxidation, membrane potential, and mitochondrial calcium holding capacity-were regulated by long-term corticosterone (CORT) treatment in an inverted "U"-shape. This regulation of mitochondrial function by CORT correlated with neuroprotection; that is, treatment with low doses of CORT had a neuroprotective effect, whereas treatment with high doses of CORT enhanced kainic acid (KA)-induced toxicity of cortical neurons. We then undertook experiments to elucidate the mechanisms underlying these biphasic effects and found that glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) formed a complex with the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 in response to CORT treatment and translocated with Bcl-2 into mitochondria after acute treatment with low or high doses of CORT in primary cortical neurons. However, after 3 days of treatment, high, but not low, doses of CORT resulted in decreased GR and Bcl-2 levels in mitochondria. As with the in vitro studies, Bcl-2 levels in the mitochondria of the prefrontal cortex were significantly decreased, along with GR levels, after long-term treatment with high-dose CORT in vivo. These findings have the potential to contribute to a more complete understanding of the mechanisms by which glucocorticoids and chronic stress regulate cellular plasticity and resilience and to inform the future development of improved therapeutics.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2009; 106(9):3543-8. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A growing body of data suggests that hyperactivation of the immune system has been implicated in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD). Several pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-1 (IL-1) have been found to be significantly increased in patients with MDD. This review focuses on these two cytokines based on multiple lines of evidence from genetic, animal behaviour, and clinical studies showing that altered levels of serum TNF-alpha and IL-1 are associated with increased risk of depression, cognitive impairments, and reduced responsiveness to treatment. In addition, recent findings have shown that centrally expressed TNF-alpha and IL-1 play a dual role in the regulation of synaptic plasticity. In this paper, we review and critically appraise the mechanisms by which cytokines regulate synaptic and neural plasticity, and their implications for the pathophysiology and treatment of MDD. Finally, we discuss the therapeutic potential of anti-inflammatory-based approaches for treating patients with severe mood disorders. This is a promising field for increasing our understanding of the mechanistic interaction between the immune system, synaptic plasticity, and antidepressants, and for the ultimate development of novel and improved therapeutics for severe mood disorders.
The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 03/2009; 12(4):561-78. · 5.64 Impact Factor