[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cocaine exposure during gestation causes protracted neurobehavioral changes consistent with a compromised glutamatergic system. Although cocaine profoundly disrupts glutamatergic neurotransmission and in utero cocaine exposure negatively affects metabotropic glutamate receptor-type 1 (mGluR1) activity, the effect of prenatal cocaine exposure on mGluR1 signaling and the underlying mechanism responsible for the prenatal cocaine effect remain elusive. Using brains of the 21-day-old (P21) prenatal cocaine-exposed rats, we show that prenatal cocaine exposure uncouples mGluR1s from their associated synaptic anchoring protein, Homer1 and signal transducer, Gq/11 proteins leading to markedly reduced mGluR1-mediated phosphoinositide hydrolysis in frontal cortex (FCX) and hippocampus. This prenatal cocaine-induced effect is the result of a sustained protein kinase C (PKC)-mediated phosphorylation of mGluR1 on the serine residues. In support, phosphatase treatment of prenatal cocaine-exposed tissues restores whereas PKC-mediated phosphorylation of saline-treated synaptic membrane attenuates mGluR1 coupling to both Gq/11 and Homer1. Expression of mGluR1, Homer1 or Gα proteins was not altered by prenatal cocaine exposure. Collectively, these data indicate that prenatal cocaine exposure triggers PKC-mediated hyper-phosphorylation of the mGluR1 leading to uncoupling of mGluR1 from its signaling components. Hence, blockade of excessive PKC activation may alleviate abnormalities in mGluR1 signaling and restores mGluR1-regulated brain functions in prenatal cocaine-exposed brains.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(3):e91671. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PTI-125 is a novel compound demonstrating a promising new approach to treating Alzheimer's disease (AD), characterized by neurodegeneration and amyloid plaque and neurofibrillary pathologies. We show that the toxic signaling of amyloid-β(42) (Aβ(42)) by the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR), which results in tau phosphorylation and formation of neurofibrillary tangles, requires the recruitment of the scaffolding protein filamin A (FLNA). By binding FLNA with high affinity, PTI-125 prevents Aβ(42)'s toxic cascade, decreasing phospho-tau and Aβ aggregates and reducing the dysfunction of α7nAChRs, NMDARs, and insulin receptors. PTI-125 prevents Aβ(42) signaling by drastically reducing its affinity for α7nAChRs and can even dissociate existing Aβ(42)-α7nAChR complexes. Additionally, PTI-125 prevents Aβ-induced inflammatory cytokine release by blocking FLNA recruitment to toll-like receptor 4, illustrating an anti-inflammatory effect. PTI-125's broad spectrum of beneficial effects is demonstrated here in an intracerebroventricular Aβ(42) infusion mouse model of AD and in human postmortem AD brain tissue.
Journal of Neuroscience 07/2012; 32(29):9773-84. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While a potential causal factor in Alzheimer's disease (AD), brain insulin resistance has not been demonstrated directly in that disorder. We provide such a demonstration here by showing that the hippocampal formation (HF) and, to a lesser degree, the cerebellar cortex in AD cases without diabetes exhibit markedly reduced responses to insulin signaling in the IR→IRS-1→PI3K signaling pathway with greatly reduced responses to IGF-1 in the IGF-1R→IRS-2→PI3K signaling pathway. Reduced insulin responses were maximal at the level of IRS-1 and were consistently associated with basal elevations in IRS-1 phosphorylated at serine 616 (IRS-1 pS⁶¹⁶) and IRS-1 pS⁶³⁶/⁶³⁹. In the HF, these candidate biomarkers of brain insulin resistance increased commonly and progressively from normal cases to mild cognitively impaired cases to AD cases regardless of diabetes or APOE ε4 status. Levels of IRS-1 pS⁶¹⁶ and IRS-1 pS⁶³⁶/⁶³⁹ and their activated kinases correlated positively with those of oligomeric Aβ plaques and were negatively associated with episodic and working memory, even after adjusting for Aβ plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and APOE ε4. Brain insulin resistance thus appears to be an early and common feature of AD, a phenomenon accompanied by IGF-1 resistance and closely associated with IRS-1 dysfunction potentially triggered by Aβ oligomers and yet promoting cognitive decline independent of classic AD pathology.
The Journal of clinical investigation 03/2012; 122(4):1316-38. · 15.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prenatal cocaine exposure causes sustained phosphorylation of the synaptic anchoring protein, glutamate receptor interacting protein (GRIP1/2), preventing synaptic targeting of the GluR2/3-containing alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs; J. Neurosci. 29: 6308-6319, 2009). Because overexpression of GRIP-associated neuronal rasGEF protein (GRASP-1) specifically reduces the synaptic targeting of AMPARs, we hypothesized that prenatal cocaine exposure enhances GRASP-1 synaptic membrane localization leading to hyper-activation of ras family proteins and heightened actin polymerization. Our results show a markedly increased GRIP1-associated GRASP-1 content with approximately 40% reduction in its rasGEF activity in frontal cortices (FCX) of 21-day-old (P21) prenatal cocaine-exposed rats. This cocaine effect is the result of a persistent protein kinase C (PKC)- and downstream Src tyrosine kinase-mediated GRIP phosphorylation. The hyperactivated PKC also increased membrane-associated GRASP-1 and activated small G-proteins RhoA, cdc42/Rac1 and Rap1 as well as filamentous actin (F-actin) levels without an effect on the phosphorylation state of actin. Since increased F-actin facilitates protein transport, our results suggest that increased GRASP-1 synaptic localization in prenatal cocaine-exposed brains is an adaptive response to restoring the synaptic expression of AMPA-GluR2/3. Our earlier data demonstrated that persistent PKC-mediated GRIP phosphorylation reduces GluR2/3 synaptic targeting in prenatal cocaine-exposed brains, we now show that the increased GRIP-associated GRASP-1 may contribute to the reduction in GluR2/3 synaptic expression and AMPAR signaling defects.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(9):e25019. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Beta-amyloid (Abeta) enables Alzheimer's disease (AD) plaque and neurofibrillary pathogenesis. Soluble Abeta promotes intraneuronal Abeta aggregates and tau phosphorylation by interacting with alpha7 nicotinic receptors (alpha7nAChRs). The current study assessed whether the novel alpha7nAChR partial agonist 2-(2-(4-bromophenyl)-2-oxoethyl)-1-methyl pyridinium (S 24795) could reduce AD-like pathologies by interfering with Abeta-alpha7nAChR interaction.
We compared the in vitro effect of S 24795, memantine, galantamine, and Abeta(12-28) on Abeta(42)-alpha7nAChR interaction in rat hippocampal synaptosomes. We further evaluated the effect of S 24795 on Abeta(42)-induced tau phosphorylation with rat hippocampal synaptosomes in vitro. Effects of S 24795 on Abeta(42) immunostaining, Abeta(42)-alpha7nAChR interaction, and/or Abeta(42)-mediated reduction of calcium (Ca(2+)) influx through alpha7nAChR and N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) were assessed in Abeta(42)-incubated organotypic brain slices and intracerebroventricularly (ICV) Abeta(42)-injected mouse brain.
Preincubation with S 24795 in vitro reduces Abeta(42)-alpha7nAChR interaction and Abeta(42)-induced tau phosphorylation. In organotypic brain slice cultures and in an ICV Abeta(42) injection in vivo model, S 24795 reduces Abeta(42)-alpha7nAChR association and Abeta(42) immunostaining. S 24795 also normalizes Ca(2+) fluxes through both alpha7nAChR and NMDAR channels in Abeta(42)-infused mouse brains and Abeta(42)-exposed organotypic cortical slices. Unlike S 24795 and Abeta(12-28), galantamine or memantine minimally affect Abeta(42)-alpha7nAChR coupling and Abeta(42)-mediated reduction of alpha7nAChR- and NMDAR-mediated Ca(2+) influx.
Drugs like S 24795 that disrupt Abeta(42)-alpha7nAChR interaction might alleviate Abeta(42)-mediated synaptic dysfunction and block AD-like pathologies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prenatal cocaine exposure produces sustained neurobehavioral and brain synaptic changes closely resembling those of animals with defective AMPA receptors (AMPARs). We hypothesized that prenatal cocaine exposure attenuates AMPAR signaling by interfering with AMPAR synaptic targeting. AMPAR function is governed by receptor cycling on and off the synaptic membrane through its interaction with glutamate receptor-interacting protein (GRIP), a PDZ domain protein that is regulated by reversible phosphorylation. Our results show that prenatal cocaine exposure markedly reduces AMPAR synaptic targeting and attenuates AMPAR-mediated synaptic long-term depression in the frontal cortex of 21-d-old rats. This cocaine effect is the result of reduced GRIP-AMPAR interaction caused by persistent phosphorylation of GRIP by protein kinase C (PKC) and Src tyrosine kinase. These data support the restoration of AMPAR activation via suppressing excessive PKC-mediated GRIP phosphorylation as a novel therapeutic approach to treat the neurobehavioral consequences of prenatal cocaine.
Journal of Neuroscience 06/2009; 29(19):6308-19. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alterations in dendritic spine density following prenatal cocaine exposure were examined in the present study. Timed pregnant rats were injected daily with 30 mg/kg cocaine or saline during gestation. At postnatal day 21, male and female animals were separated and spine density was assessed following Golgi impregnation. In prenatal cocaine-exposed rats, significant increases in dendritic spine density were observed on pyramidal cells in the CA1 region of the hippocampus, basal dendrites of layer II/III of the medial prefrontal cortex, medium spiny neurons of the striatum and the core of the nucleus accumbens, as well as in neurons of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus. No differences were observed in either apical or basal dendrites of pyramidal cells in layer III of the sensory cortex or layer V of the medial prefrontal cortex, or in apical dendrites of layer II/III pyramidal cells of the medial prefrontal cortex. Moreover, there were no sex differences in any region examined. These results demonstrate that prenatal cocaine exposure increases spine density in many brain regions at postnatal day 21, and this effect is independent of sex.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The analgesic effect of opioids is enhanced, and tolerance is attenuated, by ultra-low doses (nanomolar to picomolar) of an opioid antagonist, an effect that is mediated by preventing the receptor from coupling to Gs proteins. Recently, we demonstrated a cannabinoid-opioid interaction at the ultra-low dose level, suggesting that the effect might not be specific to opioid receptors. The purpose of this study was to examine, both behaviorally and mechanistically, whether the cannabinoid CB1 receptor was also sensitive to ultra-low dose effects. Antinociception was tested in rats after an injection of either vehicle, the CB1 receptor agonist WIN 55 212-2 (WIN), an ultra-low dose of the CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant (SR 141716), or a combination of WIN and the ultra-low-dose rimonabant. In the acute experiment, tail-flick latencies were recorded at 10-min intervals for 90 min; in the chronic experiment, tail-flick latencies were recorded 10 min after a daily injection over 7 days. Ultra-low dose rimonabant extended the duration of WIN-induced antinociception. WIN produced maximal tolerance by day 7, whereas WIN+ultra-low dose rimonabant continued to produce strong antinociception, demonstrating that ultra-low dose rimonabant prevented the development of WIN-induced tolerance. Animals chronically treated with WIN alone had CB1 receptors predominantly coupling to Gs receptors in the striatum, whereas the vehicle, ultra-low dose rimonabant, and WIN+ultra-low dose rimonabant groups had CB1 receptors predominantly coupling to Gi receptors. Cannabinoid-induced tolerance is thus associated with a G protein coupling switch from the inhibitory Gi protein to the excitatory Gs protein, an effect which is prevented by the ultra-low dose rimonabant.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent molecular genetics studies implicate neuregulin 1 (NRG1) and its receptor erbB in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Among NRG1 receptors, erbB4 is of particular interest because of its crucial roles in neurodevelopment and in the modulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor signaling. Here, using a new postmortem tissue-stimulation approach, we show a marked increase in NRG1-induced activation of erbB4 in the prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia. Levels of NRG1 and erbB4, however, did not differ between schizophrenia and control groups. To evaluate possible causes for this hyperactivation of erbB4 signaling, we examined the association of erbB4 with PSD-95 (postsynaptic density protein of 95 kDa), as this association has been shown to facilitate activation of erbB4. Schizophrenia subjects showed substantial increases in erbB4-PSD-95 interactions. We found that NRG1 stimulation suppresses NMDA receptor activation in the human prefrontal cortex, as previously reported in the rodent cortex. NRG1-induced suppression of NMDA receptor activation was more pronounced in schizophrenia subjects than in controls, consistent with enhanced NRG1-erbB4 signaling seen in this illness. Therefore, these findings suggest that enhanced NRG1 signaling may contribute to NMDA hypofunction in schizophrenia.
Nature Medicine 08/2006; 12(7):824-8. · 22.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A brain dopamine receptor that modulates phosphatidylinositol (PI) metabolism via the activation of phospholipase Cbeta (PLCbeta) has been described previously. The present study aims to define the downstream signaling cascade initiated by the PI-linked dopamine receptor. Incubation of rat brain frontal cortical slices with 6-chloro-7,8-dihydroxy-3-methyl-1-(3-methylphenyl)-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-1H-3-benzazepine (SKF83959), a recently identified selective agonist of the PI-linked D1-like dopamine receptor, elicited transient time- and dose-dependent stimulations of cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (cdk5) and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMK II) activities. The stimulation of these kinases is blocked by 20 microM R-(+)-7-chloro-8-hydroxy-3-methyl-1-phenyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-1H-3-benzazepine (SCH23390) or the PLCbeta antagonist 1-[6-[[17beta-methoxyestra-1,3,5(10)-trien-17-yl]amino]hexyl]-1H-pyrrole-2,5-dione (U-73122) and is attenuated by the protein kinase inhibitor calphostin C or by the intracellular calcium chelator BAPTA, indicating that SKF83959 stimulates cdk5 and CaMK II activities via a PI-linked D1-like dopamine receptor, and PLCbeta and is dependent on protein kinase C and calcium. Although cdk5 and CaMK II are physically associated in native brain tissue, no change in this association was observed in response to SKF83959 stimulation or to the inhibition of either cdk5 by roscovitine or of CaMK by 2-[N-(2-hydroxyethyl)]-N-(4-methoxybenzenesulfonyl)]amino-N-(4-chlorocinnamyl)-N-methylbenzylamine) (KN93), suggesting that SKF83959-mediated stimulation of cdk5 or CaMK II is independent of the other kinase and that the association of the two kinases is not modulated by change of kinase activity. Moreover, we found that cdk5 phosphorylates dopamine and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein at Thr75, whereas CaMK II is responsible for the activation of cAMP response element-binding protein in response to SKF83959 stimulation. The present data provide the first insight into the signaling mechanism for the PI-linked dopamine receptor. This information, in turn, may help in exploring the functional consequences of stimulation of this brain receptor.